Optimal fluoride should be resumed - Albuquerque Journal

Optimal fluoride should be resumed

Caries is a disease that infects nearly 100 percent of the world’s population. Most of us become infected in the first year of life, and we may become re-infected with different strains throughout our lives. Our most vulnerable populations are the hardest hit, including children, the elderly and those in poverty. As a society, we spend billions of dollars every year combatting the effects of this disease.

Now imagine that there is a way to prevent much of the damage this disease causes. A way that we could avoid the pain and save the costs of treatment. A way that uses a naturally occurring mineral found in all water. A way that costs only pennies per person per year. Well you don’t have to imagine, because the method of preventing this disease has been utilized for decades, safely and effectively.

Caries is the disease that causes tooth decay, and optimally fluoridating water helps prevent the damage. Communities have been utilizing this public health measure for 60 years. It is not medicine. It is a mineral that is incorporated in the crystalline hard tissues of the teeth and makes them resistant to the acids that result from the caries bacteria. If this happens during the time of tooth formation – in the womb, infancy and early childhood – people get a lifetime of benefit and measurably lower rates of dental disease.

I grew up drinking Albuquerque water, but I was 14 before the voters approved optimal fluoridation in 1970. That was too late for me to experience the maximum benefit. My kids all grew up here with appropriate fluoride levels for their entire lives. What a different experience. I’ve had good dental care, but plenty of it. They’ve experienced very little other than routine checkups. I suspect that many from my generation have had similar experiences.

When the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority quietly stopped optimal fluoridation six years ago there was no fanfare or vote and no calls by the Journal for prior notification. In fact, it was almost a year before the water board notified the public of their actions. Since then we have begun to see the effects. It’s high time to get back to the best practice recommended by the CDC, the World Health Organization, the American Dental Association, the American Medical Association and many others, including several national water utility organizations on which ABCWUA relies for best practices.

People have the right to avoid fluoride, if they want, but our tap water already has significant levels of naturally-occurring fluoride, so they will have to find other sources anyway. For the rest of us, the ABCWUA should make sure the fluoride is set at the optimal level based on 60 years of experience and sound research. I want my kids’ kids to have the same benefits their parents had. The ABCWUA board’s amending the budget for the equipment and supplies necessary to make that happen is the prudent and responsible action of our elected leaders.

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » Optimal fluoride should be resumed


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
New grocery store approved near Rust Medical Center
ABQnews Seeker
The Rio Rancho Governing Board at ... The Rio Rancho Governing Board at its June 23 meeting approved site plans for Albertsons Market Street @ The Village near the new Presbyterian ...
2
Farmington's Gonzalez named Gatorade track and field athlete of ...
Featured Sports
Kayden Gonzalez of Farmington High was ... Kayden Gonzalez of Farmington High was named the 2021-22 Gatorade New Mexico Boys track & field athlete of the year on Wednesday. The 5-foot-10, ...
3
'Edmund and the Astronaut' a story of an unlikely ...
Entertainment
'Edmund and the Astronaut' at Fusion ... 'Edmund and the Astronaut' at Fusion in Albuquerque will run through July 10.
4
Metalwork artist work inspired by the sense of home ...
Arts
Santa Fe native Hernan Gomez Chavez ... Santa Fe native Hernan Gomez Chavez works in copper, bronze or stainless steel.
5
Santa Fe Wine Festival to feature 15 state wineries
Entertainment
The 28th annual event takes place ... The 28th annual event takes place at El Rancho de las Golondrinas from noon-6 p.m. Saturday, July 2, and Sunday, July 3.
6
Jemez Mountain Brewhouse opens its doors
Blogs
The recently opened brewery, located at ... The recently opened brewery, located at 17691 N.M. 4 in Jemez Springs, offers plenty of local craft beers including a few of its own.
7
Madrid staple offers up live music, pub food and ...
Dining Reviews
From pizza to sandwiches to a ... From pizza to sandwiches to a kid's menu where everything is $9.50 to the Mine Shaft's famous and award-winning Mad Chile Burger, bar flies ...
8
A look at Fourth of July festivities from around ...
Entertainment
At Balloon Fiesta Park, 4401 Alameda ... At Balloon Fiesta Park, 4401 Alameda Blvd. NE, Freedom Fourth is back for another year. The event ru ...
9
Filmmaker knew action thriller 'Hot Seat' had to be ...
Blogs
The premise of 'Hot Seat' follows ... The premise of 'Hot Seat' follows the story of an ex-hacker is forced to break into high-level banking institutions, as another man must try ...