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Please stop making the following arguments about fluoride

Posted on 16 November 2014

There are valid arguments on both sides of the fluoride debate. These aren’t them.

I did a story about fluoride, and I’ve done some coverage of the fluoride referendum in Prince George, so as a result I’ve been getting Tweets/comments/emails about fluoride, largely from anti-fluoride people. As an adult who brushes his teeth, whether fluoride stays or goes has no effect on me personally, but I do have trouble with some of the talking points I keep seeing. So please, if you are going to argue against fluoride, don’t use the following:

I’m mostly reacting to anti-fluoride arguments because they are the ones who contact me the most. In the interest of fairness, here are some of the more frequent pro-fluoride arguments that also don’t work:

It’s fascinating to me that despite huge amounts of consensus in the scientific and medical communities that fluoridating community drinking water is safe and beneficial, this continues to be such a controversial issue. It says a lot about the degree to which people trust- or don’t trust- medical and scientific experts.

I do think there are valid arguments to be made on the anti-fluoride side, just as I think there a valid arguments from the pro-fluoride side, as well. I think we would have a much better and more informed discussion if we eliminated all of the arguments outlined above.

To that end, I’m hopeful that if/when fluoride is removed from Prince George’s drinking water some sort of study is taken up to the measure the effects on overall population health, dental and otherwise, so we can have more data to increase our understanding of fluoridated waters benefits and drawbacks.

 

Filed under: misc

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