NBC News (10/17, Chuck) reports on its website that “a small but vocal minority — are disputing long-established science to say that fluoride added to tap water lowers IQ and causes everything from acne to anemia to Alzheimer’s.” According to the story, “The frets over fluoride are reminiscent of the unfounded fear that vaccines cause autism: disproved by science, yet steadfast nonetheless.” In the past five years, “74 cities have voted to remove fluoride from their drinking water.” American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Brittany Seymour said, “There have been literally thousands of studies published in peer-reviewed journals that demonstrate the safety of community water fluoridation,” adding that it is “the single most important public health measure to prevent cavities.” The story notes that this year, there have been 13 votes on fluoridation, and at least three more cities have fluoride referendums on the ballot in November. “The science — the true science — proves its effectiveness over and over again,” said Dr. Julie Watts McKee, the state dental director of the Kentucky Oral Health Program. “It helps people of all ages. It helps the kids better because they have growing teeth and are at a cavity-prone age, but it helps us all.”

For more information about fluoride and the ADA’s advocacy efforts on fluoridation, visit ADA.org/fluoride.

Dental professionals can point their patients to the ADA’s consumer website, MouthHealthy.org/fluoride, for more information. The Journal of the American Dental Association also offers this patient handout, Drink Up! Fluoridated Water Helps Fight Decay.