Fluoride will continue to flow from the tap in the city of Staunton.

That decision was made after a recommendation from the director of the Central Shenandoah Health District. Dr. Doug Larsen is overwhelmingly in favor of fluoridating water.

The debate started when Staunton resident Kenneth Case presented city officials with research showing that fluoride does more harm than good. Both Case and Larsen are equipped with studies to support their opposing sides.

However, Larsen provided a list national organizations that back a city fluoridation program, including the American Association of Public Health Dentistry.

“The overwhelming majority of studies have shown exactly what we’ve talked about tonight. That fluoride is safe, effective and cost efficient and prevents a lot of pain and suffering,” says Larsen.

The city council sided with Larsen’s recommendations, but said it isn’t an expert on the subject. Members want Larsen to communicate with the state health department on the issue.

Staunton has been fluoridating its water since the 1960s, and Larsen says the city has a great record of staying within the recommended levels of fluoridation.

“We feel that the benefits outweigh whatever risks their are, and we have 60 years proving that the fluoridation of the water does make a difference,” says Staunton Vice-mayor Dave Metz.

Larsen also said fluoridation is cost effective. He said a lifetime of fluoridating water for one person costs less than a filling for one cavity.