Did you know that putting fluoride in water helps prevent so-called "cavities"?
And did you know that despite this "cavity prevention," dentists support the use of fluoride in the water supply?
Why would they do that?
Cavity prevention affects their salaries, after all, doesn't it? Fewer cavities means fewer visits to the dentist, fewer operations, and smaller profits for Big Dentistry, right?
What exactly is going on here? The Herald detailed recent dust-ups at the Everett City Council, where critics routinely have questioned the use of fluoride in the water supply. That got us thinking.
Apparently, fluoride supporters don't only include Big Dentistry -- or the American Dental Association, as the politically correct call it. Big Pediatrics -- the American Academy of Pediatrics -- supports fluoridation, too.
How did Big Fluoride get to them?
After all, tooth decay affects our health. Before fluoridation, people lost teeth all the time. A leading cause for rejection from military service during both world wars was the lack of having six opposing teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which listed fluoridation as one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the past century, right up there with controlling disease and recognizing tobacco as a health hazard.
It seems doctors, with all their fancy degrees, claim that lacking teeth is bad. They say it hinders your ability to eat, impacting nutrition. And cavities can pass infection into the pulp of a tooth, which can then spread disease into your blood.
Which brings us back to Big Pediatrics: Isn't this cutting into their paychecks, too? We assume treating these illnesses would net them a pretty little profit -- parents will spend money on anything.
And what about the voters? When fluoridation came up on the ballot in Everett, it passed by a margin of nearly 2 to 1. Who got to Big Electorate?
Perhaps most troubling of all, our bodies support the use of fluoride. (We don't call this interest group Big Body. We call it Well-Proportioned Body.) We store fluoride in our bones and teeth. In some cases, too much fluoride stains the teeth. We're led to believe these stains aren't as harmful as cavities.
So how did Big Fluoride get to us?
Are we missing some piece of the puzzle?
Or has fluoridation done such a good job addressing tooth decay that we have forgotten what a serious problem it was for literally millennia?
Is it possible that fluoridation should earn our support just because it is a good idea?
Could the answer be that simple?
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