Council should reconsider fluoride decision

Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: taxonomy_term in similarterms_taxonomy_node_get_terms() (line 518 of /home/octimesherald/www/www/sites/all/modules/similarterms/similarterms.module).
  • Notice: Undefined offset: 0 in similarterms_list() (line 221 of /home/octimesherald/www/www/sites/all/modules/similarterms/similarterms.module).
  • Notice: Undefined offset: 1 in similarterms_list() (line 222 of /home/octimesherald/www/www/sites/all/modules/similarterms/similarterms.module).

Recently the Oconto Falls City Council voted to discontinue fluoride in the city’s drinking water.

As a dentist I feel it is my duty to inform my patients and the whole community of Oconto Falls that eliminating fluoride in the drinking water will result in long-term harm through increased tooth decay and increased financial expense.

Fluoridated water is cost-effective. The annual cost for Oconto Falls is $13,475, or less than $5 per person. An individual can have a lifetime of fluoridated water for the cost of one dental filling. As taxpayers we all pay the price for dental problems when these expenses come from the Medicare/Medicaid budget.

Nationally oral disease is our most common health problem. Dental issues cause children to lose 53 million school hours and adults 164 million lost work hours each year.

Community water fluoridation is safe. Nearly all developed countries practice some type of fluoridation, just not always through water. Instead, salt or milk may be used to provide the public with the necessary fluoride to prevent tooth decay.

More than 125 national and international service organizations including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Dental Association and the World Health Organization recommend fluoridation in drinking water. Water fluoridation reduces dental cavities by 25 percent. In fact, the CDC named community water fluoridation as one of the top 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.

Anti-fluoride opponents claim fluoridation should be a choice. However, fluoride exists naturally in all water supplies. So the only question really is whether we receive the optimal level that’s required for healthy teeth. Community water fluoridation maintains that optimal level. Opponents claim fluoridating water is medicating people, yet we put iodine in our salt to prevent goiters, vitamin D in our milk for healthy bones, and folic acid in our processed cereal to prevent birth defects. Fluoride in the drinking water prevents cavities.

I believe fluoridated water is a win-win for all of us. We will have less tooth decay resulting in healthier mouths and at a lower cost in money and time. I am asking the residents of Oconto Falls to contact the City Council members urging them to reconsider their decision and reinstate the fluoridation program. A petition can be signed at any of the dental offices and several local businesses.

Debra K. Munes, DDS,

Oconto Falls Dental S.C.