This year has been a big one for the fluoride free movement. Since 1990, dozens of communities around the world have eliminated water fluoridation programs. In that time, an estimated 14 million individuals have been freed from fluoride, according to numbers gathered by the Fluoride Action Network. In the Sunshine State, commissioners in Hernando County recently voted to go fluoride free, protecting nearly 175,000 Florida residents from the potentially toxic side effects of such programs.
Fluoride Debate in Hernando County, Florida
Since the mid 1900s, water fluoridation has been promoted by Federal, state, and local governments as a way to proactively fight against tooth decay. A growing amount of research suggests fluoride is dangerous, however. Earlier this year, county commissioners in Hernando County, Florida, heard arguments from health experts regarding the safety and effectiveness of water fluoridation.
Pro Fluoride Argument
Leading the pro-fluoride lobby in Hernando County was pediatric dentist, Johnny Johnson, according to reporters for the Hernando Today (i). Mr. Johnson defended the county’s water fluoridation on the basis that it helped low socio-economic residents maintain better oral health than would otherwise be possible. “The poorest of the poor in Hernando County, both children and adults, need you to step up and vote to fluoridate the water for them,” said Mr. Johnson, explaining that water fluoridation kept teeth healthier, without asking individuals to change their daily routine.
Anti Fluoride Rebuttal
Mr. Jim Intzen led the anti-fluoride rebuttal, contesting the largely unfounded statements made by fluoride supporters. According the reporters from the Hernando Today, Mr. Intzen’s counter arguments were based on the following facts:
- Low-income families in Hernando County have access to affordable care via special dental programs, and that reliance on fluoride is not necessary.
- Overuse of fluoride has been linked with pitting of the teeth and fluorosis, a permanent discoloration of the enamel.
- Studies from leading international health agencies link fluoride consumption with the development of thyroid disorders and lower IQ in children.
Freedom of Choice
Proponents of fluoride speak of the health benefits of public water fluoridation, but do companies have the right to add fluoride to a community’s water system without the residents’ consent? Well-known actor and prominent anti-fluoride spokesperson, Ed Begley, calls such programs a “sloppy form of medicine” and instead calls for freedom of choice. Around the world, individuals of all ages are adopting this viewpoint, especially as studies increasingly link fluoride with serious community and health issues. These include:
- Disproportionate harm to lower socio-economic families.
- Severely toxic effects on newborn babies who are fed instant formula that is prepared with fluoridated tap water.
- Accumulation in the Pineal gland, which may disrupt the onset of puberty as well as normal sleep cycle regulation.
Fluoride Free Dentistry
At Assure A Smile, we are proud to be a fluoride free dental practice. Miami dentist Dr. Theodore Herrmann, DMD has more than 20 years experience in holistic dentistry and has led numerous fluoride awareness campaigns to help individuals in South Florida recognize the dangers of fluoridated water while limiting exposure.
(i) “Hernando Commissioners Say No to Fluoridation.” URL: http://hernandotoday.com/he/list/news/hernando-commissioners-say-no-to-fluoridation-20140225/