Don’t fear fluoride

 I thank the editor of the News for his excellent editorial of Feb 27. He explained well that although fluoride, like most other substances, is poisonous in sufficient amounts, when used in water fluoridation it is a minute fraction o

I thank the editor of the News for his excellent editorial of Feb 27.

He explained well that although fluoride, like most other substances, is poisonous in sufficient amounts, when used in water fluoridation it is a minute fraction of the necessary dosage to be a poison, as it is with chlorine used to sanitize water.

Compounds containing fluorine (fluorides) are naturally occurring worldwide in soil water and some foods. Occasionally they are found in such amounts that they cause mottling of the teeth, which is how the anti-decay effect was first discovered.

I have seen no evidence of a lowering of IQ in towns such as Colorado Springs, Colorado where the effects of fluoride were first observed in the early 1900s. The level of fluoride there was 10 times the level advocated for todays water fluoridation (0.6 – 0.8 parts per million).

Anther argument that was put forward is the possible link to cancers. Proponents of removal quote a study from Japan that has suggested a “possible” link. They neglect to mention the 20-odd studies in the US National Cancer Institute’s library that refute any such connection. (One study of relevancy found that the postal code had more significance.)

The argument that carcinogenic materials such as pop and candy should be eliminated has much merit. However, this becomes a national issue and cannot be controlled effectively in a community. Fluoridation at 0.8 ppm has proven to be an effective (and cost-effective) means of significantly reducing dental decay.

Worldwide studies have shown double digit decreases in decay of children born after fluoridation. The effects of fluoride are most significant when they are incorporated into the developing teeth but surface application (whether through toothpaste or professional application) does also help.

If you think about it, why would dentists, the Canadian dental medical associations and the World Health Organization plus numerous other health organizations back a measure that has a negative monetary effect on the dental profession if it wasn’t in the public good?

People should remember that we dentists will drink the same fluoridated water for which we advocate.

Dr. Richard Smith

President,

Yukon Dental Association

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