To the editor:
According to an article in the Wednesday Journal-World, Lawrence city commissioners are looking for current research on water fluoridation. City Auditor Michael Eglinski says “it would be pretty simple to compile a report on the latest scientific research on the issue.”
Mr. Eglinski is correct. A published article in last month’s Journal of the American Dental Association reviews current scholarly research on community water fluoridation. The authors, Drs. Molly Melbye and Jason Armfield, are senior research fellows in the U.S. and Australia who remind us that “municipal water fluoridation has been hailed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th Century.” They urge dentists and educators to spread the word that “Community water fluoridation is an important public health intervention that reduces oral health disparities and increases the health of the population.”
In reviewing any online or print publication, it is important to consider the source. The source of this review by Drs. Melbye and Armfield (which cites 62 publications) is none other than the American Dental Association (JADA.ada.org).
Seventy-two percent of Americans consume public water containing cavity-preventing fluoride. National polls conducted by Gallup and the ADA have found that 70-78 percent of American adults support water fluoridation. I appreciate the city’s willingness to examine this important public health issue since misinformation and unsubstantiated public claims in some communities have deprived these communities of the health benefits of water fluoridation.