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It’s best to keep fluoridating water supply

I am writing regarding the shortage of fluoride for the community water fluoridation program and the decision that faces our city.

Community water fluoridation prevents tooth decay. Fluoride in water is the most efficient way to prevent cavities. An estimated 51 million school hours and 164 million work hours are lost each year due to dental-related illness. Community water fluoridation is so effective at preventing tooth decay that the CDC named it one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

It protects all ages against cavities. Studies show that fluoride in community water systems prevents at least 25 percent of tooth decay in children and adults, even with widespread public access to fluoride from other sources such as fluoride toothpaste.

It’s safe and effective. For more than 75 years, the best scientific evidence has consistently shown that fluoridation is safe and effective. It has been endorsed by numerous U.S. Surgeons General. More than 100 health organizations have joined the ADA in recognizing the health benefits of water fluoridation for preventing tooth decay, including the CDC, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

It saves money. The average lifetime cost per person to fluoridate a water supply is less than the cost of just one dental filling. For most municipalities, every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs.

It’s natural. Fluoride is naturally present in groundwater and the oceans. Water fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride to a recommended level for preventing tooth decay. It’s similar to fortifying other foods and beverages — for example, fortifying salt with iodine, milk with vitamin D, orange juice with calcium and bread with folic acid.

I would recommend we continue this valuable program.

JENNIFER BROERS,

Alpena

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