Skip to comments.States Can Save Millions & Create Healthier Toothier Americans
Posted on 12/18/2008 6:03:11 AM PST by nyscof
New York State's Governor Patterson is proposing extensive tax increases to offset revenue shortfalls. But I have a better idea. Stop fluoridation.
This win-win decision for all states would save multi-millions of dollars and benefit every American except maybe legislators beholden to special interest groups.
Science shows ending fluoridation saves teeth, money, preserves health and will reduce the carbon footprint, to boot, but it would irk organized dentistry. Thats the rub.
After 60 years of water fluoridation and over 50 years of fluoridated toothpaste, tooth decay is epidemic in the United States because 80% of dentists refuse to treat Medicaid patients and over 108 million Americans lack dental insurance (1). Children have died from untreated tooth decay. (2)
Diverting attention from their greed and heartlessness, dentists focus too-willing legislators on fluoridation (adding unnecessary fluoride chemicals into water supplies in a failed effort to prevent tooth decay), as if that would solve the problem. (3)
Far from fluoridation putting dentists out of business, as was once predicted, todays dentists work fewer hours and days doing less critical work but make more money than many physicians. (4)
Seventy-two percent of NYS is fluoridated even though statistics show its failing to thwart cavities. (5) New York City, alone, spends approximately $14 million or more yearly on fluoridation chemicals, equipment and manpower.(6) Yet, NYC residents have among the highest cavity rates in the nation. (7)
Unfortunately, organized dentistrys PAC money and political might speaks louder than science.(8)
One might argue that stopping fluoridation will cause higher dental costs. But studies show that, when fluoridation ends, cavities actually go down. (9) And the most highly fluoridated states have the highest rates of tooth loss. (10) Cavity crises are occurring in most fluoridated cities and states (See: http://www.FluorideNews.Blogspot.com )
Modern science shows that fluoride ingestion confers no benefits as early fluoridationists believed. Besides, today fluoride is in virtually all foods and beverages, (11) almost all toothpastes, some medicines, many dental products and is now a known component of air pollution.
No one disputes that too much fluoride is a bad thing. And theres loads of evidence showing that Americans are over-fluoridated. For example, the Centers for Disease control reports that 48% of 12 - 15 year olds have dental fluorosis white spotted, yellow, brown and/or pitted enamel from too much fluoride ingestion when their teeth were forming. (12) We cant see what fluoride is doing to their bones. (13)
For this reason, both the CDC and the American Dental Association advise that infant formula NOT be mixed with fluoridated water.
The National Kidney Foundation also advises kidney patients to avoid fluoridated water as malfunctioning kidneys can allow a toxic build up of fluoride in bones causing them to weaken and break. (14)
New York State cant afford the money to get this information out. Fluoridation is outdated, unnecessary and harmful. It must be stopped.
The remedy: Dentists have unfairly influenced our legislators to pass laws that benefit themselves (15) while neglecting those that need them the most. In return, Dentists must be required to treat a certain percentage of patients for free, on a sliding scale basis or accept Medicaid payments.
Tell your local and state legislators you want fluoridation stopped.
Tell Congress you want fluoridation stopped and Congressional hearings held about why federal officials continue to promote fluoridation in the face of growing evidence of harm and ineffectiveness: http://congress.FluorideAction.Net
2) For Want of a Dentist, by Mary Otto, The Washington Post, February 27, 2007
3) How California Deceptively Passed a Statewide Fluoridation Mandate http://www.edhtelegraph.com/detail/89290.html
Louisiana Mandates Fluoridation Despite Evidence of Harm http://www.bio-medicine.org/medicine-news-1/Louisiana-May-Mandate-Fluoridation-Despite-Evidence-of-Harm-20853-1/
4)New Drill - Tale of Two Docs: Why Dentists Are Earning More, by Mark Maremont, The Wall Street Journal, Monday, January 10, 2005
5) NYS Department of Health statistics show that fluoridation fails to reduce tooth decay. See chart: http://tinyurl.com/NYSchart
6) Fluoridation Does Not Save Money or Teeth
7) Evidence that Fluoridation Has Failed New York
8) Open Wide for $25K NY Daily News, by Elizabeth Benjamin, July 12, 2008
In Rift Among Dentist Groups, a Tale of Political Clout.
By Sam Roberts, New York Times, June 23, 2008
9) When Fluoridation Ends So Do Cavities
10) More Fluorde = Less Teeth
11) USDA Fluoride Database 2005 http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=6312
14) National Kidney Foundation, Fluoride Intake in Chronic Kidney Disease, April 15, 2008
(15) Middlesex County Dental Society (New Jersey) Presidents Message
In my book, the jury’s still out on fluoridation. My son is 20 and has never had a cavity. My husband and I have a mouthful of fillings from our childhood, teenage years.
The only difference between my kid and us was in our (husband and my) growing up years the water wasn’t fluoridated and we didn’t have fluoride toothpastes (and my son is not a fastidious “brusher”...he does about a 1 minute quick brushing a couple times a day...so good dental hygiene doesn’t account for his lack of cavities and neither does genetics.)
Don't let localities or individuals decide what way they will be medicated. Just make sweeping decrees for everybody even though it is not in the traditional realm of “public health” as in communicable diseases.
Typical liberal thinking. I'd really like to see reporters start to report the facts, like:
New York City taxpayers, alone, spend approximately $14 million or more yearly on fluoridation chemicals, equipment and manpower...
A minor point, perhaps, but states the facts correctly.
Governor Patterson (Mr. Magoo) needs to stop piling on taxes, as all the extra hours people have to work to pay them contributes to gorebull warming.
Actually good diet is linked to less cavities. Fluoride is neither a nutrient nor required for healthy teeth. Modern science indicates that ingesting fluoride confers no benefits and that fluoride gets into tooth enamel by topical means alone.
For example, in Detroit Michigan where the water is fluoridated, children have profound tooth decay. Adults have extremely high rates of tooth decay even though fluoridated water is the most consumed item.
Fluoride can’t fix a bad diet.
Paging General Jack D. Ripper - please pick up the courtesy phone, and grab a cigar on your way in!
Tooth decay rates have gone down over the decades equally in fluoridated and non-fluoridated countries. At the same time, diets have improved, foods have been fortified, dental care more affordable, health awareness more pronounced. There are NO studies which prove that fluoridation, and none of the factors above or others, are responsible for the cavity decline. However, now that diets are decaying and dentists are selective about who they treat, tooth decay is a growing US problem, along with fluoride overdose symptoms which are ruining our children’s teeth - causing very expensive cosmetic dentistry - for those who can afford it.
I hear the English don’t floridate; maybe we can emulate their teeth.
Dentists don’t accept new Medicaid patients because the system pays maybe half of what a procedure costs, ties them in red tape and leaves the bill for 6 months or more.
I wouldn’t say that our diet was much different than most folks, though when our son was younger we didn’t do a lot of fast foods, and we never bought soda, but we did have ice cream and cookies in the house.
But since he’s been able to drive (when he was 16) his diet stinks (LOL, spoken like a true “controlling” parent.) He’s been in college and now grad school, and rarely eats at home, but catches a bite on the run, which often includes to our horror, Krispy Kreme donuts, Red Bull, lots of Taco Bell and Chick-Fil-A. Still no cavities.
I did think of one thing that could account for some lack of cavities as a child. We had pit and fissure sealants placed on all his molars and kept that up until he came out of braces, so that might have some effect on keeping decay from taking root in his molars.
Libertarian Solution: Fluoridated salt and non-fluoridated salt
I have traveled in third and second world countries. In many places people can buy either the non-fluoridated salt or the fluoridated. Each parent decides for their own family. The cost for each of the types of salt is the same.
I call BS. i entered the Navy in 1962, having never seen a dentist and i drank water from a shallow well most of my life. I had no cavities. the dental officer took one look at my teeth and said that i must have grown up in east texas. He was right, i grew up on the stateline of louisiana and texas. he said that it was common for kids from that area to have great teeth due to the natural flourides in the water there.
Caries is an infectious disease. If the caretakers of the child have untreated and open decay in their mouth the child is far, far, more likely to have a decay too.
If a child has rampant caries it is important to clean up **everyone** in the family and get them all decay free.
Also, chewing gum with xylitol helps a **lot**.
Dentists like to think they did it on their own. However, the accepted welfare for the rich in the form of government subsidies for their tuition and/or dental schools. Governments dole out licenses and give them the right to treat people. Some dentists claim that the number of dentists is kept low - just to make sure dentists can charge more money. It’s time dentists give back. Boo-hoo about the paper work. Do some for free. After all dentists got handouts. It’s time for them to pay it forward.
We have a crisis because dentists won’t treat low-income people. In New York and other states, they passed a law requiring all students to get a dental check-up. This won’t solve the problem because children living with dental pain still can’t afford the dentist. They know this. This law enabled dentists to get more children with good insurance to come and see them and raise dentist incomes.
Dentists claim that they care so much about low-income people that they work very hard to put fluoride chemicals into the water - yeah right! These are the same people they won’t allow to cross their threshold. If they really cared, a dental health crisis wouldn’t have occurred on thier watch.
Annual nutcase attack on good teeth
There’s nothing natural about the fluoride that’s added to water supplies. You might have grown up drinking calcium fluoride. However, silicofluorides are the fluoride chemicals added to water supplies. Silicofluorides are waste products of the phosphate fertilizer industry which by law are required to capture fluoride emissions before they reach the atmosphere. It’s this captured fluoride (silicofluorides) which is transported all over the US as hazardous waste and dumped unpurified into water supplies.
Regulatory agencies allow these silicofluorides to have trace amounts of lead, arsenic, mercury and other toxins.
You people are all anti-dentites
“Annual nutcase attack on good teeth”
He is a liberal troll that fills the internet with his fluoride agenda, check his Huffington Post profile and look at who his favorite bloggers are, Barbara Ehrenreich for one.
He has over six years of posts here, everyone of them on fluoride.
Just shows to go you what the powers that be think about us.
What's worse, fluoride makes calcium structures "stronger" only in the ignorant sense of the word, more accurately, or in addition, it makes them more brittle, which they love because now as we age our teeth break easier and expensive and easy to do (from the denti$t point of view) cap$ are sold.
“...precious bodily fluids...”
Before fertilizer, Dupont used flouridation to get rid of their waste from the uranium hexaflouride that was used to create the atom bomb.
I don’t have a dog in the flouride fight. I will say that I spoke to a dentist about it once. He claimed that tooth decay had a sharp increase, after bottled water became popular, because people weren’t getting flouride from the water anymore.
Personally, I drink distilled water, because of taste issues in my water. I haven’t noticed an increase or decrease in cavities.
There are lots of options out there, if you are that opposed to flouride. We actually drink a fairly small amount of water each day...and it can be bought @ $0.79 a gallon in Wal Mart and cheaper through a local distributor who sells 5 gallon bottles.
I just don’t think there’s that much to get upset about.
Wonderful idea. Here's one better: Fluoridated sugar.
This is the only part of the article that I disagree with. No one, not dentists, physicians, lawyers, bricklayers, mechanics, butchers, or people of any other profession or trade should be required by government to accept patients, clients, or customers against their free will. If government can usurp powers over the people that the Constitution does not grant to it then we may as well stop pretending that it is anything more than an interesting museum display.
OTOH, I am adamantly opposed to fluoridation of public water systems. Fluoride has now been proven beyond doubt to be a major factor in what has become a virtual epidemic of osteoporosis in the elderly population of North America where fluoridation of public water systems has been common for many decades. (Osteoporosis is the thinning of bone tissue that causes most of the serious and often fatal fractures that are so prevalent in the elderly segment of the population).
A few years ago the president of the CDA, the Canadian counterpart of the American Dental Association, resigned from the association because he could no longer in good conscience support the association's position on fluoridation. In his resignation speech he cited the statistics and medical research that now shows beyond question that fluoridation of public water supplies is a major cause of osteoporosis.
There are many brainwashed parents who still believe that fluoridated drinking water is beneficial to children's teeth in spite of the growing stack of evidence to the contrary. And if those people want to have fluoride in their children's water there is no shortage of enterprising merchants who will be happy to provide it for them. But if the popular catch phrase, "freedom of choice" means anything at all, government should not be given the power to force a noxious compound on those who don't want it.
An even better idea!
Even my dentist of many years, whose moral integrity I greatly respect btw, agrees that some aspects of America's dentistry profession are becoming something that could almost be called a racket. He says that at the more recent annual dental association conventions he has attended it seems to him that more emphasis is being placed on ways to increase the profitability of a dental practice than on advancing new and improved dentistry techniques. An old friend of mine who has owned and operated a dental lab for most of his adult life tells me pretty much the same thing regarding the dental lab operator's annual conventions he attends.
I am not by any means saying that all or even most dentists and/or dental lab operators are putting profit ahead of sound practice, but I think it's true that some, hopefully a minority, are.
I would agree with you (about not forcing dentists to treat people) if they weren’t the ones forcing fluoride into us, against the will of those of us who know better and those who don’t know any better.
For example, one dentist just convinced a whole Montana tribe to fluoridate their drinking water. I’m sure he gave them misleading information.
Organized dentistry forced a state-wide fluoridation mandate in California in 1995, very quietly, so no one could object, and when the whole world and almost every reporter was more interested in the OJ story.
Last year both the Louisiana and Nebraska Dental Associations instigated a fluoridation mandate law in those states giving only positive information backed up with a “trust me; I’m a dentist” rhetoric.
So it’s very hard for me to feel sorry for any dentist who contributes to any dental association that forces fluoride into people without informed consent.
Actually, I believe that those who want fluoride should be the ones buying it.
Fluoridated tap water is used for bathing, cooking, in cold mist humidifiers and to make many of the foods and beverages people consume. But there is no fluoride information on the labels.
Those for and against fluoridation agree that too much fluoride is dangerous and that everyone should monitor their daily fluoride intake
One place to start is the USDA fluoride database:
Dispensing fluoride based on thirst without concern for need, overdosage, side effects or lack of teeth, is irresponsible and wasting my taxes.
Further, studies indicate that silicofluorides added to water supplies cause children to absorb more lead from their environment.
High blood lead levels are linked to higher rates of tooth decay which is probably one of the reasons that low-income children in fluoridated big cities have high rates of tooth decay
I just dont think theres that much to get upset about.
Why should those of us who don't want fluoride in our drinking water have to go through the inconvenience and expense of buying our drinking water at Walmart, while the people who want fluoride, or far more likely know nothing about the danger it poses to them and their kids in later life, have it conveniently delivered to their homes practically cost free via the public water system? When I say "practically" cost free I mean that the added cost of fluoridation is a very small part of the average water bill.
As for being upset, I'm only upset that I was denied the truth about fluoridation until it is now too late. At 71 years I have had numerous root canal procedures, and I now have more expensive posts and crowns in my mouth than natural teeth. I believe there is no question that fluoridation is responsible for most, if not all, of those crowns. So far I have not been diagnosed with osteoporosis, but I'm afraid that it's only a matter to time until I add that to my growing list of age related health problems.
Of course fluoridation is not the only cause of osteoporosis, aging is the primary culprit. But it is obvious to anyone who has taken the time and made the effort to study the issue from an unbiased viewpoint, which excludes most advocates for fluoridation, that it is a significant contributing factor.
2 weeks ago one of my teeth was hurting and especially
sensitive to cold fluids.
My dentist advised me to use fluoride mouth rinse.
My tooth pain has got a lot better with the fluoride rinse.
And you don't need dental insurance, which is a rip-off and doesn't cover anything except x-rays & exams. Pay dentists in cash and you'll get a great deal and a great smile (Cue white sparkle from teeth)
I suppose you're right, my comment was just my latent libertarian streak showing through.
without informed consent.
That's the crux of my argument against mandated fluoridation of public water systems. The general public is still being denied the truth about the dangers of fluoridation by those who profit from their ignorance. The people who are most at risk should at the very least be given all of the the known and relevant facts on both sides of the issue.
If you were to continue using the fluoride rinsefor a long period of time (measured in years, not weeks or months) the pain would eventually go away completely. Because by then the natural tooth will probably have been replaced by a very expensive post and crown.
But then if your drinking water is fluoridated the result will likely be the same whether or not you continue using the rinse.
Those dentists must be getting huge kickbacks for “forcing” fluoridated water upon the masses. /sarcasm
Why would long-term use of fluoride lead to a post and crown?
There, fixed it for you.
My insurance pays 85% for crowns, etc. MY cost for a single gold crown was $381.40. You're trying to tell me that the hour the dentist worked on my tooth was worth $2000 minus the $94.13 I paid for the gold? Yeah, right.
That's anti-capitalist hogwash. Any time a price is higher than someone thinks it should be (based on nothing, really), then it's called "gouging".
Are you "gouging" your employer when you get a raise? After all, you're costing your employer more than he'd like to pay you.
If a dentist's prices are higher than they "should be", then another dentist could undercut him and get more patients. Or, you could pay to go to dental school for a few years and become one yourself, getting in on all the free money pouring in.
If it weren't for meddling by government and government-constrained insurers, those two alternatives would be one and the same thing. I don't blame the dentists.
Your sarcasm alert shows either your ignorance on the subject or your professional interest in the profit aspect. As you may or may not know, many dentists are profiting from the damage caused by fluorides by replacing the broken or cracked teeth that have been made brittle and prone to breakage.
Root canal work followed by fitting a crown to the tooth's root or a post is expensive by anyone's standards. My last root canal, post, and crown was done about five years ago and cost well over $2000. My dentist tells me that today the same combination of his services and the crown itself would cost roughly 50% more than it did back then.
As a weekday resident of NYC, I’ve never seen a low-income child drinking tap water (probably because I don’t spend time inside their homes) and rarely if ever seen one drinking bottled water (because neither they nor their parents are interested in drinking anything that isn’t extremely sweet). These kids are guzzling soda and sugary “fruit” drinks by the gallon, and I doubt that tap water drinking fountains are available in the public schools — if they get water at school, I think it’s all bottled. Very few of them think of water as something one drinks. I can’t imagine how they’d be ingesting fluoride in sufficient quantities to cause them to absorb more lead.
You said “Those dentists must be getting huge kickbacks for forcing fluoridated water upon the masses. /sarcasm”
In effect, they actually are. There is a synergistic relationship between corporations who profit from tooth decay such as Colagate, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, etc and organized dentistry. Without the money these corporations pour into organized dentistry coffers, dentists would never have the money to have the political influence that they do. The NY Times reported that almost every bill the NYS Dental Society puts forth gets passed.
And also they give a huge amount in political donations. Of course, you would say that’s just a coincidence.....
In effect dentists are the frontmen for the sale of fluoride. If fluoridation really hurt their bottom line, they would be the ones telling you how bad it is for your body - even if it does make the teeth stronger.
Cavities form when teeth demineralize faster than they remineralize. It’s a simple process. The bacteria in your mouth eat the same sugars that you eat, but they turn the sugar to an acid. The acids dissolve the minerals (calcium, fluoride, etc) out of your enamel. Your saliva (and fluoridated products like toothpaste, rinses, and drinking water) put minerals back into the teeth. If the minerals come out of the tooth faster than they go back in, you get a cavity.
Fluoride is a terrific “remineralizing” agent because not only is it readily absorbed (remineralized) back into the tooth, it is harder and less soluble than calcium to the acid effects of the decay process. Voila! Fewer cavities.
Your teeth don’t get brittle from fluoride. Fluoride is a much tougher mineral than calcium, and since enamel is made up of 96% minerals, fluoride actually strengthens teeth. It does not weaken them.
If you had a tooth that broke, it is most likely due to the fact that you had a very large amalgam (mercury/silver) filling in the tooth coupled with parafunctional habits like bruxing or clenching. Fluoride didn’t break your tooth.
What your saying might be true - except that the American Dental Association and most of its state and country constituent dental societies lobby vigorously against any group that is capable of infringing on their lucrative monopoly.
Case in point: Dentists won’t work or live in rural Alaska. As a result, Alaska allowed Dental Health Aide Therapists to do simple dentistry. They were trained in New Zealand. The ADA and the Alaska Dental Society spent $1 million trying to stop them. Thank goodness they lost and now DHATs are allowed to work only in Alaska.
There are many dentist shortage areas in the US where people would welcome Dental Therapists. But organized dentistry is using it’s political might and money to keep them from helping out people who need dental work and at lower prices.
Dental Therapists have worked for decades in other developed countries as successfully and efficiently as dentists.
Besides who among us doesn’t have a dentist-horror story
As a dentist, I see the first-hand destruction from caries in patients suffering from post-radiation or pharmacologically-induced xerostomia. Their saliva dries up, the protective benefits (ie—remineralization) are lost, and rampant decay occurs. I provide these same patients with fluoride-carrying trays that they wear 10 minutes/day, and the decay process completely stops...particularly root surface caries.
Interestingly enough, there’d be more money in it for me if I did *not* prescribe the fluoride trays, because I’d be doing dozens of crowns, fillings, and root canals on their teeth for years to come.
But if you want to don your tin-foil hat, and talk everybody out of using fluoride, have at it. Hopefully the people you talk to are smarter than that though.
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