On behalf of our local dental hygiene component board members, Superior Sunrise, we would like to express our concerns about possibly removing fluoride from our city water supply. Fluoridation is vital for our community. The science regarding the dental health benefits and the safety of fluoride is well documented and has been known for years. Community water fluoridation prevents at least 25% of cavities in both children & adults over the lifespan.
We have a colleague, Emily Lucier, who works in an office and lives in Kingsford in the western Upper Peninsula. They see rampant childhood and adult cavities because their water is not fluoridated. This not only causes significant pain and lost time at work and school, but it also burdens the state and local communities financially. Many of their pediatric patients have Healthy Kids state dental insurance. Tens of thousands of dollars are often spent on treating a single patient’s cavities. Uninsured adults are continually left to suffer or travel long distances to be treated at free/low-income clinics. Children often need to be sedated under general anesthesia at hospitals throughout the Upper Peninsula to receive extensive dental treatment. The state of Michigan pays for this if a child has Healthy Kids insurance. Hospitals also have to give up valuable operating room time in order for the pediatric dentist to be able to come in and treat these patients.
Emily and her co-workers see the massive impact of no water fluoridation in Kingsford on a daily basis. If only you could see what they see!
We are concerned registered dental hygienists. We have the opportunity to continue to prevent many dental issues in Alpena. Community water fluoridation is vital and of the utmost importance as it benefits all!
President, Superior Sunrise Dental Hygienists’ Association