Editor’s Note: The debate over adding fluoride to water to combat tooth decay is complex, with supporters and critics both saying science is on their side.
Water fluoridation is supported by nearly every major health industry group and government health agency, including the American Dental Association, the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization. In Brevard, most dentists stand united in support of fluoridation – but not all.
Here are opposing views from two Brevard County dentists.
Yes to Fluoride
By Dr. Yoshita Patel Hosking, DDS, MPH, practices pediatric dentistry in Viera
As a pediatric dentist, I strive to support and advocate for the oral health of not just my patients, but every child in our community.
I regularly and respectfully educate families about the oral health benefits and safety of water fluoridation and the proper use of fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes for children of all ages from birth until adulthood. We discuss important factors in decreasing their child’s risk for cavities, including diet, hygiene, and preventive treatments such as sealants.
Unfortunately, too many children in our communities do not receive routine dental care for a variety of reasons. Their families may not be able to drive to a dental office or may not understand the importance of oral hygiene and nutrition in a child’s life. What can we do as a community to ensure these children, who are at the greatest risk for oral health concerns, are protected in some way?