A Clear Trend: Yes to Fluoridation
Anti-fluoride groups like to claim that so many communities are deciding to end or not start fluoridation, but look beyond their spin to the national data. Since the year 2000, fluoridation has expanded to reach an additional 42 million Americans. In fact, during the most recent 10-year period, the number of Americans receiving fluoridated water has increased (26%) nearly three times as fast as the overall population (9%).
Now, consider recent trends in Florida — one of the largest states.
In December, the Pinellas County commissioners voted to reverse a 2011 decision and resume water fluoridation in the county. This was an important decision for children and adults because the county’s water sytem serves about 700,000 residents. Janet Long, one of the newly elected commissioners (who defeated an anti-fluoride incumbent) told a newspaper:
“I’m glad we got it done. It has moved our county to a place where thoughtful and deliberate discussion and conversation can take place and you can make decisions based on scientific evidence.”
Just last week, Plant City (well known to Floridians for its tasty strawberry crop) also chose science over science fiction. The town began fluoridating its community water system, which serves more than 30,000 people.
Last April, officials in the Gulf Coast city of Tarpon Springs (pop. of 24,000) also voted to begin fluoridation.
Here is the lesson. When decisions are made in haste and based on emotions, they are likely to be misguided. But when public officials take plenty of time to examine the evidence and consult with experts in this field, they are much more likely to make a sound decision that reflects what the science shows.