… I’m a high school student working with the local nonprofit Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!). There has been talk recently about removing the fluoride from our city’s water. We as an organization strongly believe that our city water should remain fluoridated.
Water fluoridation is the controlled addition of the natural mineral fluoride to a public water supply which reduces tooth decay. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water fluoridation has been identified to be the most cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to citizens: For every $1 invested in water fluoridation, $38 is saved by reducing the need for dental fillings and other treatments. The CDC named community water fluoridation one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
In our community, the poor, the elderly and the racial and ethnic minorities experience the most suffering because of a lack of access to regular and preventative oral health care. Fluoridated water can be the most viable option for care because it helps the people that suffer the most in a highly cost-effective way.
I have two younger siblings who live in an area in which their only access to water is well water that’s not fluoridated. They regularly drink unfluoridated water, but they do brush their teeth twice a day. Every time they visit the dentist, their dentist tells them their dental health is suffering due to them having to drink unfluoridated water regularly.
Water fluoridation is an inexpensive means of improving oral health that benefits all residents of a community, young and old, rich and poor alike. YES! encourages the public to become informed on the issue and speak to your local city council if this ever comes to a vote.
— Xenna Smith