Dental and Medical Professionals Stress Importance of Fluoride in Traverse City Tap Water

Traverse City, Colo. has entered the debate on whether tap water shoflourideuld be fluoridated.

According to a June 13 article, local dentists, doctors and health officials are speaking publicly on the importance of keeping fluoride in Traverse City’s water, something the city has done since 1951. Traverse City’s dental and health community are stressing that scientific evidence has “overwhelmingly found fluoridated water is safe and prevents tooth decay” among both children and adults, the article reports.

Health officials are making statements on the benefits of water fluoridation after a small group asked the city to remove its funding for the water fluoridation program from its budget.

Opponents of water fluoridation say that fluoride is a toxic substance that should not be in public water supplies. Wendy Trute, a health officer for Grand Traverse County, told that many items and substances we use every day can be considered toxic if used in high enough concentrations.

“Medicines, or even vitamins, are good examples,” Trute said. “These items enhance our lives when used appropriately, but can pose a health risk if they are consumed in too high of a quantity. The same applies to fluoride in the drinking water. When added to a community water supply at the proper level, fluoride has been scientifically proven to be a safe and effective means of preventing tooth decay in all populations, especially the poor and underserved.”

Fluoride is one of the top ways to prevent tooth decay and dental cavities, and can even reverse decay that has taken place, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Along with accidents and athletic injuries, tooth decay is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in people younger than 35.

According to Traverse City Mayor Michael Estes, the city’s water fluoridation program costs its users less than a dollar each year.

“Water fluoridation is one of the hallmarks of a modern, desirable community that values and helps protect public health,” Estes said. “Medical, dental and public health experts are in near unanimous agreement that water fluoridation is safe and effective, and we simply must continue our water fluoridation program for the public health of our citizens.”