Fluoride is not a drug; it is beneficial

Re: Water fluoridation is a significant public health achievement The Alberta Dental Association and College supports the appropriate use of fluoride as one of the most successful preventive health measures in the history of health care.

Re: Water fluoridation is a significant public health achievement

The Alberta Dental Association and College supports the appropriate use of fluoride as one of the most successful preventive health measures in the history of health care. Every national and international health agency supports fluoridated water supply. A recent joint government of Canada response to an environmental petition to discontinue water fluoridation included the following statement:

“The fluoridation of drinking water supplies is a well-accepted measure to protect public health and is strongly supported by scientific evidence. Fluoride has been added to public drinking water supplies around the world for more than half a century, as a public health/dental health measure. The use of fluoride in the prevention of dental caries continues to be endorsed by over 90 national and international health organizations including Health Canada, the Canadian Dental Association, the Canadian Medical Association, the World Health Organization and the Food and Drug Administration of the United States.”

The Alberta Dental Association and College considers the addition of fluoride to drinking water as simply adjusting the level of a substance already found naturally in the water to provide a substantial public health benefit. Under Canadian law, since fluoride in water is not a drug, it cannot be considered as mass medication. Fluoridation is adding a beneficial mineral to improve health, like adding vitamin D to orange juice or iodine to salt.

Fluoridation of drinking water continues to be the most economical means of getting the proven protection that fluoride gives to teeth. Children need fluoride protection while their teeth are developing. Adults also need fluoride since the possibility of root decay increases as they get older.

Dentists care about prevention and their patients’ oral health and believe that the appropriate use of fluoride may help all Albertans maintain optimal oral health. Fluoride is recognized as a powerful measure in reducing cavities. The profession of dentistry supports the use of fluoridated water to prevent tooth decay so that fewer people require emergency dental care.

Dr. M.D. Bochinski

President

Alberta Dental Association and College

Edmonton

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