To the editor:
Good oral health is central to good overall health. Unfortunately, many children in Kansas are suffering from poor oral health, and unless we do something to prevent it, the problems will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Over and over, I see children in my practice who have tooth decay and cavities. The pain makes it hard for them to eat, play and concentrate. They smile less. They miss school.
Fluoride is a mineral that exists naturally in nearly all water supplies. Fluoridated water is a prevention strategy that is proven to work by making teeth more resistant to future decay. The Centers for Disease Control have named fluoridated water supplies one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. The past five surgeons general endorsed fluoridated water. Innumerable experts and unbiased, independent research studies support the safety and efficacy of fluoridated levels at current community fluoridation program levels, like in Lawrence.
Dental decay affects more than a quarter of all 2- to 5-year-olds in the United States. We should take any step necessary to bring this number down.
Lawrence is already ahead of the game: our water is fluoridated. Let’s keep it that way and make dental health a priority for our children.