This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fluoride Really Is Good For Your Health

Poor dental hygiene and oral health can be bad for your overall levels of health, and the single best thing that has ever happened to oral health is fluoride. Yet, an article in the latest issue of The Nation's Health reminds us that too many people are wary of fluoride treatments.

Dental advances over the past six decades mean that many Americans do not remember a time when tooth decay and disease was a major national public health problem.
Much of the credit for the nation’s better oral health can be attributed to the decision in the 1940s to begin adding fluoride to public drinking water systems. According to the American Dental Association, fluoridation reduces tooth decay in all age groups by 20 percent to 40 percent “even in an era with widespread availability of fluoride from other sources, such as fluoride toothpaste.”
And yet today community water fluoridation is under fire from some who claim its health benefits are overblown and that fluoridation creates a higher risk for heart disease and cancer. There is no valid science supporting these claims, said public health officials who spoke with The Nation’s Health, and yet they persist, kept afloat by Internet rumors and misinformation.
“People cannot differentiate between CDC and the American Dental Association and some quack outfit that’s trying to scare people,” said Myron Allukian Jr., DDS, MPH, president of the American Association for Community Dental Programs and a past president of APHA.
Keep this in mind if someone in your city or area protests against the fluoridation of local drinking water. Life is scarier without fluoridation than with it.

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