A Common-Sense Column
An editor of The News-Tribune in Tacoma, Washington, has written an excellent column about the savings that result when communities fluoridate their drinking water to the optimal level. Patrick O’Callahan writes:
I was in my middle twenties before I knew what a cavity was. My friends had them; I almost felt left out. I happened to have spent my early years in Madison, Wis., one of the first cities to have its water supply fluoridated.
Our editorial today argues for restoring Medicaid dental coverage for poor adults. … Total Medicaid dental in Washington could come in at something north of $90 million per biennium.
That cost might be pared in the future if all of Washington’s cities adopted fluoridation, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention has called “one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.”
O’Callahan cites research that every dollar invested in fluoridation saves $38 in unneeded dental treatments. But he points out that nearly two-thirds of Washington residents have access to fluoridated water, but several large-sized communities do not fluoridate their drinking water. O’Callahan adds this note:
It’s not worth arguing with fluoridation opponents. If the pro-fluoride stances of the CDC, American Dental Association, World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics and International Association of Dental Research (among others) don’t impress them, nothing will.