EDITOR: Fortifying our food and water is nothing new to us. We add vitamins and minerals to salt, bread and milk. Adding a tiny amount of fluoride to our water to strengthen our kids' teeth is a safe, wise and compassionate decision.
Fluoride makes the teeth strong and resistant to the bacterial acids that cause tooth decay, a major health concern reported recently in The Press Democrat. Water fluoridation has been used for more than 60 years and is one of our greatest public health achievements.
As a program director in infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health which funded hundreds of fluoride studies, I watched scientists debate the benefits and risks of fluoridation, coming to the conclusion that the small amount of fluoride needed to protect teeth was not harmful. Both the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly support community fluoridation.
As a father who raised his cavity-free daughter in a town with fluoridated water, I can attest to the healthy impact of this supplement on our family.