Council made wrong choice on fluoridation

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To the editor:

I’m submitting this letter to the editor in response the decision made recently by the City Council in Oconto Falls to stop adding fluoride to the community water supply. I am a registered dental hygienist and serve as the associate director of Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin.

Fluoridation is safe and effective, and there are more than 3,000 peer reviewed and published studies supporting this. Information provided at the City Council meeting inaccurately noted that cities across the county and Wisconsin are eliminating their fluoridation programs and now it is nearly a 50/50 split. This could not be further from the truth.

The percentage of people across the United States who use a community water supplies that fluoridate continues to rise. Between 2000 and 2014, the percentage of U.S. residents receiving optimally fluoridated water rose from 65.0 percent to 74.4 percent.

It is important to understand the facts regarding community water fluoridation and the strong support it has from local, state, national and international organizations. Organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dental Association and the World Health Organization all strongly support community water fluoridation as a safe and effective method of controlling dental disease.

Studies show that communities that do not fluoridate their water have an average of up to 25 percent higher rates of disease than those who fluoridate. Why would a community decide to take away this valuable resource that nearly three out of four Americans have access to?

This decision will certainly lead to a greater amount of tooth decay in the community and increased costs to residents. For more information on the facts about community water fluoridation, visit www.tapintohealthyteeth.org or www.ilikemyteeth.org

Matt Crespin,

Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin,

West Allis