A prominent Saskatoon dentist is weighing in on the fluoridated water debate, offering his support for continuing the practice.

A petition to remove fluoride from the city’s drinking water has been circulating and seems to be gaining support but Gerry Uswak, Dean of the College of Dentistry, says keeping the substance will result in less trips to the dentist.

“(Fluoride) stops the bacteria from dissolving the tooth,” he says.

The amount of fluoride in drinking water used to be one part per million (PPM). But Uswak says that has since dropped down to 0.7 PPM because people are getting it from other sources.

“There’s fluoride in processed foods,” he explains. “If your pop is made in a factory that uses fluoridated water you are inadvertently getting fluoride.”

According to Uswak, you may be surprised to learn many people aren’t educated enough to brush on a daily basis.

“The benefit of community water fluoridation is we don’t have to think. We have to drink water for us to stay alive.”

Uswak believes water fluoridation is not only the single most-effective means of providing cavity prevention, but also the most cost-effective method.

Ultimately, of course, the final decision is up to City Council.