TITLE OF LETTER: FLUORIDE the still best guard against cavities
Mark Amberg (“New Fluoride Rules Yet to Be Proven Safe,” Jan. 19 letter) substantially misrepresented the recent announcement of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concerning a proposed lowering of the recommended level of fluoride to be used with community water fluoridation.
The new recommendation is not related to the allowable levels of fluoride, just the recommendations. As with virtually all such federal government announcements, the official announcement was published in the Federal Register for public comment. Thereafter, the appropriate government agencies will consider the comments and eventually finalize the recommendations.
The author failed to mention that the federal government agencies did not question the effectiveness or safety of community water fluoridation, but rather strongly reaffirmed their endorsement of community water fluoridation based on strong scientific evidence.
Their recommended lower level of fluoride in the water simply reflects primarily that there are many more sources of fluoride now than there were 60 years ago when community water fluoridation was begun, and as a result cavity rates are much lower, on average, than they used to be.
Community water fluoridation is safe and effective in preventing cavities for both children and adults. It is by far the most cost-effective way to prevent cavities.