The decision to inject fluoride into our drinking water bothers me to no end. I always appreciated the fact that Portland resisted this practice, mainly because I would rather avoid any potential long-term consequence of ingesting additional fluoride.
Many will give reason for and against fluoridation, but the one conversation that receives little attention is feeding children endless amounts of junk food. Nothing else is worse for kids' teeth than allowing bacteria to feed on simple sugars, which are now found in everything they eat. We would have no reason to fluoridate water if children ate a more nutritious diet.
We have advanced enough to pump fluoride into an entire city's drinking supply, but we can't get our brain's around how to feed kids food that won't cause their teeth to rot. And so as I walk through grocery stores or flip the radio on in my car, I hear advertisements about the need to combat childhood obesity. Does it strike anyone that the potential solution to rotting teeth and oversized waistlines is to exercise restraint and governance over what children consume.
Thankfully, I grew up in a household that focused on healthy choices. For me, junk food was a rare occassion, but I know how other families eat. Their cupboards are full of sugary cereals, sugary snacks, sugary drinks, sugary processed meals, and you get my point. Don't think for one second that evaporated cane juice and agave nectar are somehow better than high fructose corn syrup because the research says they are not. Thus, we have a health epidemic where the solution does not need to be weight-loss pills and fluoridation.
I voted to get the issue put on the ballot where I will gladly vote NO to fluoridation. I hope the next ballot measure we sees deals with the food content in our schools. Feed kids a nutritive diet, not fluoride.