After decades of trying to implement one of the most effective public health measure, the California Department of Public Health has finally been able to add fluoride to the drinking water of one of the largest cities in US. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you!
This news comes just as I complete a mission trip from Jamaica, where I was able to see first hand the deleterious effect of dental caries/cavities on people’s quality of life. If anyone has any questions on the effectiveness of fluoride in reducing dental cavities, please visit a country that has no fluoridated water….then you will get a sense of what I am talking about. Over a 5 day period, we saw over 2000 patients and had to extract over 1000 teeth… all because of the extensiveness in damage to teeth that could not be restored. In many instances, we were extracting their permanent (adult) teeth in teenagers due to rampant cavities…meaning for the rest of their lives they would be missing their front tooth. With these island communities that rely solely on tourism as a major source of their budget expenditure, missing a tooth literally means no job for these people…you have to have a nice smile to obtain a job at any resort. So just think about the economic impact of fluoridation: saving a person’s front teeth and their ability to be able to obtain a job to lift their family out of poverty.
Here is the actual letter with some very useful links about fluoride.