The Fluoride Debate Continues, This Time in Brooksville, FL

9/12/18   #Dental Health   #News
Dr. Frank Sierra shares some timely information on Fluoride in light of an upcoming vote in Brooksville, FL.

I was reminded by a friend of a situation that the City of Brooksville, FL is having regarding Fluoride in their water supply. It seems like a great opportunity to share one of the news articles on the subject, and to talk about the importance of Fluoride.

What Is Fluoride?

We at Kids Smiles plan to keep watching the situation, and sharing information with our client families. Let’s start with some facts about the mineral itself. Fluoride helps to protect your children’s teeth, and it is a naturally-occurring mineral. Fluoride comes from fluorine, which is a common, natural, and abundant element. Often referred to as nature’s cavity fighter, fluoride helps to prevent cavities in teeth by making the outer surface of the teeth, your enamel, more resistant to damage from tooth-decaying acids.

Fluoride helps to rebuild weakened tooth enamel and has the amazing ability to reverse early tooth decay. When it makes contact with teeth, fluoride is absorbed into the enamel, and helps to repair it by replenishing any lost calcium and phosphorous to keep your teeth hard. We refer to this process as remineralization. 

Fluoride is found in most water sources including rivers, lakes, wells, and oceans. Once the benefits of fluoride was discovered, local governments started adding it to the public water supplies as well. Before fluoridation, children had about three times as many cavities.

So What’s Happening in Brooksville?

If you have not already read the article from the introduction, the short version of the story is that the Mayor of Brooksville and City Council members have been discussing in favor of ceasing to add fluoride to the water supply. They bring up the financial cost and there is an opinion that the city shouldn’t add a chemical against the wishes of its residents. Some, unfamiliar with the opinions of the CDC, ADA, and other scientific groups in favor of the benefits of fluoride are causing doubts for the residents. The City Council voted 3-0 this summer to pursue a referendum on the November ballot, asking the residents whether they want to continue adding fluoride to the city water supply. 

This is alarming to many dental professionals, not just in the City limits, but around the state and beyond. There is a great set of quotes from a letter that a Pinellas County dentist sent to the council. He’s right. There is no recognized health or medical organization on the planet that opposes water fluoridation. Our office at Kids Smiles hopes that the citizens of Brooksville vote to keep their fluoride. The cost for the city to treat dental decay for low-income residents as a result of missing this simple mineral will be much greater than the cost-savings of this short-sighted idea.

Please share this article with friends and family who are working to keep a child’s smile healthy. If you have any other questions about fluoride, contact our office in person, by phone, or even through our social media channels.