It is a scenario playing out nationwide. From Oregon to Pennsylvania, hundreds of communities have in recent years either stopped adding fluoride to their water supplies or voted to prevent its addition. Supporters of such bans argue that people should be given the freedom of choice. The broad availability of over-the-counter dental products containing the mineral makes it no longer necessary to add to public water supplies, they say. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that while store-bought products reduce tooth decay, the greatest protection comes when they are used in combination with water fluoridation.

The outcome of an ongoing federal case in California could force the Environmental Protection Agency to create a rule regulating or banning the use of fluoride in drinking water nationwide. In the meantime, the trend is raising alarm bells for public health researchers who worry that, much like vaccines, fluoride may have become a victim of its own success.

The CDC maintains that community water fluoridation is not only safe and effective but also yields significant cost savings in dental treatment. Public health officials say removing fluoride could be particularly harmful to low-income families — for whom drinking water may be the only source of preventive dental care.

“If you have to go out and get care on your own, it’s a whole different ballgame,” said Myron Allukian Jr., a dentist and past president of the American Public Health Association. Millions of people have lived with fluoridated water for years, “and we’ve had no major health problems,” he said. “It’s much easier to prevent a disease than to treat it.”

According to the anti-fluoride group Fluoride Action Network, since 2010, over 240 communities around the world have removed fluoride from their drinking water or decided not to add it.

  • ILikeBoobies
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    3 months ago

    Americans won the battle to bring back measles

    Now they’re fighting to bring back tooth decay

          • ILikeBoobies
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            3 months ago

            I suppose, all I saw was that in Canada a self reported study found communities with fluoride thought they weren’t as smart as people in those without thought they were

            So I must be illiterate

            • Emmie@lemm.ee
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              3 months ago

              Your og comment is one that brings nothing of value except circlejerk. You sound like a redditor

                  • ILikeBoobies
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                    3 months ago

                    I had read it before, I was just pointing out your claim wasn’t back up by the article since you seemed so triggered over being laughed at