I see the impact good oral health can have on patients daily as a health care professional. Cavities and infections in the mouth can lead to medical complications among people managing chronic conditions like diabetes, pregnancy and heart disease. Water fluoridation helps prevent needless suffering by strengthening tooth enamel and making teeth less vulnerable to cavity-causing germs.
The simple act of drinking a glass of Forks tap water strengthens and protects teeth, helping Forks residents of all ages have improved oral health, fewer cavities and fewer missing teeth than communities that do not provide their resident’s water fluoridation. As a mom to a young boy, that is something I can truly appreciate. Without community water fluoridation, Forks families will have to take fluoride supplements or fluoride mouth rinses to continue the protection that fluoridated drinking water provides. Getting your kids to eat properly can be a challenge. But getting them to take a supplement or swish with a fluoride rinse takes it to a different level.
Every major health and scientific organization supports water fluoridation as a beneficial public health measure. These trusted organizations include the American Medical Association, American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and dozens more. I urge Forks’ leaders to take the time to speak with their doctor, nurse and dentist about water fluoridation and the consequences of removing a public health benefit that residents have enjoyed for more than 70 years.
As the Forks City Council considers the merits of water fluoridation, I hope they recognize that water fluoridation is not only a sensible public health policy. It’s also the right thing to do to for the city’s kids, adults and senior citizens.
Lucritia Stansbury, RN