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Water Fluoridation Safety: Fact vs. Fiction

Written by Adam Zewe

Fluoridation of public drinking water has been a controversial topic since the practice was first adopted in the United States in the late 1940s. Proponents, like the American Dental Association (ADA), say water fluoridation is a cost-effective way to prevent and, in some cases, reverse tooth decay, especially among children and those who lack access to dental care.

Opponents, like the International Chiropractor's Association (ICA), argue that fluoridation of public drinking water constitutes a form of compulsory mass medication and that the potential health risks of overexposure could harm certain vulnerable populations, like those suffering from kidney problems.

"Fluoridation has been responsible for dramatic reductions in dental caries and tooth loss in the United States. Introduced more than 65 years ago, fluoridation was recently named by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. The most important feature of fluoridation is that it benefits persons of all ages and economic backgrounds," states Associate Professor Mark Macek, DDS, MPH, DPH.

"In the past, drinking water, food and beverages prepared with fluoridated water accounted for nearly all of an individual's entire fluoride intake. Today, fluoride comes in many more sources, including fluoridated dental products, food products and some bottled water. The use of fluoride is not innocuous. It is time to consider if community water fluoridation is still needed," remarks Professor Richard Manski, DDS, MBA, PhD.

Drs. Macek and Manski, along with a panel of faculty members and dental industry leaders, will debate water fluoridation safety and other hot-button issues at the Hot Topics in Dentistry: Town Hall Meeting and Panel Discussion during All Alumni Reunion Weekend. The event will be held on Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Moderated by Dean Christian S. Stohler, DMD, DrMedDent, the lively discussion promises to be both entertaining and informative.

Click here to register online.

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