Water Fluoridation

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Water Fluoridation: The First Battlefront Tooth Decay

Water fluoridation was introduced more than 60 years ago, in Michigan, as a public health measure to prevent tooth decay and it has been the reason for big controversies since there. The technique is defined as a process in which the substance fluoride is introduced into the public water supply in order to prevent dental cavities, reaching a large number of people. The Morbidity and Mortality report prepared by the Center of Control of Disease, Atlanta, Georgia, and printed and distributed by Massachusetts Medical Society states, “Fluoridation of drinking water is a major responsible for the decline in dental caries (tooth decay) during the second half 20th century” (“Fluoridation of
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In addition, the cost of implementing water fluoridation programs is very low and the effectiveness would justify the operation. According to American Dental Association (ADA), the average cost for a community to fluoridate its water vary from $0.50 a year per person to $3.00 a year per person, being the lowest value calculated for large communities and the highest one for small communities (“Statement Commemorating…”). ADA states yet, “Every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatments costs…show more content…
Their arguments revolve around mostly political, ethical, and moral factors. Harvey Sapolsky, Professor of Public Policy and Organizational and former director of MIT Security Studies Program, tried to explain in his article, The Fluoridation Controversy: An Alternative Explanation, the behavior of the opponents through two theories. The alienation theory suggests that individuals socially and politically disadvantaged seek ways to attack those people who are perceived as powerful and since water fluoridation is usually supported by big scientists, big business, and big government, that would explain the opposition (Sapolsky 242). Sapolsky provides also an alternative theory which is based on referendum campaigns to vote in favor or against water fluoridation. The theory suggests that most of the opposition, in this case, is caused by the confusion developed in the mind of voters due to misinformation (245). During these campaigns, voters are exposed to a ton of information from opponents and proponents which could cause the rejection not because they are alienated, but because they are confused and thus, they opt not to take big risks, rejecting water fluoridation proposals. This problem would be easily solved through educational campaigns supported by
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