Lennard R. Hopper, Lincoln, Journal Star, April 15, 2003 - original
I have followed a series of recent articles regarding community water fluoridation. I applaud the Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World-Herald for setting the record straight on this issue. With so much misinformation floating around, it is important that the public be properly informed about the safety and efficacy of water fluoridation.
As a dental student and American Student Dental Association member, I take great personal interest in the dental health of the public. Water fluoridation is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to ensure the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth. It cannot replace other preventive measures such as personal hygiene and periodic clinical care.
However, daily exposure to small amounts of fluoride contributes to the growth of stronger teeth that are more resistant to cavities and helps to prevent the weakening of adult teeth that can occur over time.
Following critical review of research and trials in communities all over the world, water fluoridation has been endorsed by the American Dental Association and virtually every other major national health organization -- organizations that have nothing to gain by misleading the public. In contrast, arguments against fluoridation are usually mounted by individuals, without the benefit of peer review -- people who may argue as much out of their own self-interest as out of any assumed concern for public health.
Fluoridation a kids issue
Les Lane (me), Lincoln, Journal Star, March 28, 2003 - original
Kent Bedient of York (letter, March 18) notes that fluoridation is a personal freedom issue. He fails to mention that it's a children's health issue of particular importance to disadvantaged children.
While personal freedom is important to me, in this case children's health is vastly more important. I'm pleased to live in a community that likewise values children's health.
Fluoride bill dictatorial
Kent Bedient, York, Journal Star, March 18, 2003 - original
Talk about dictatorship! Not in some distant, backwater corner of the globe, but right here in Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.A.! Sen. Jim Jensen's bill LB473 would mandate fluoridation in all Nebraska communities of more than 1,000 people. This is a blatantly dictatorial bill that would affect every person -- on Medicaid or not -- every time they turn on a water tap.
There is plenty of fluoride available to those who want it without adding it to everyone's water: topical treatments (which Sen.Jensen could mandate to all Medicaid recipients, since their dental costs are allegedly the focus of his bill). It's in fruit juices, colas and cereals; even potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, raisins and toothpastes are loaded with fluoride (along with the FDA warning not to swallow it and to contact the nearest poison control center immediately if you do). (So just how safe is this poison?)
But the ultimate, bone-chilling insult in LB473 is the prohibition of voter petition drives. Apparently Jensen wants to establish an absolute dictatorship!
Has he ever read the U.S. and Nebraska Constitutions, which both clearly provide for citizens' right to petition? Has he ever heard of government at least pretending to represent people? Is that concept too old-fashioned and cumbersome in his dictatorial view? If so, he -- like the dictatorial City Council here in York -- should be shown the door in the next election, if not sooner.
Tom Bassett, executive director, Nebraska Dental Association, Lincoln Journal Star, March 5, 2003 - original
Three cheers for the Journal Star's excellent editorial (Feb. 23), "Fluoride fight wacky, batty and hilarious." It's unfortunate that we have a significant percentage of citizens in some communities who have been misled by the anti-water fluoridation folks. Instead of settling for their 15 minutes of fame, some of these self-proclaimed "experts" have been spreading misinformation for years.
The first U.S. city to fluoridate its water supply did so in 1945. At present, more than 400 million people in 30 countries drink fluoridated water. If one listened to the fluoride opponents, you'd swear people are dropping like flies. Instead, the Centers for Disease Control calls water fluoridation "one of the 10 greatest health benefits of the 20th century."
Fluoride saves smiles! It lowers the incidence of dental cavities in children by 60 percent. A bill before our Legislature (LB473) if enacted will not only help children's health, it will save parents' money on dental visits, and will save Medicaid some big bucks. Thanks to the opponents of fluoride, we're all paying extra tax dollars.
It's safe, efficient and inexpensive. It works regardless of a person's age, race or income.
Fluoride is a natural substance. It's in the earth, our lakes and streams. Of the 100 Nebraska towns that have optimal levels of fluoride in their drinking water, 35 have it because Mother Nature put it there, not the city water works. No Russian plot, no hidden agenda, no mind control -- just good science.
If the anti's want to boost their egos by making up "facts," and getting worthless information off the Internet, I wish they'd pick a topic that affected just themselves and not the children in our state. Our children shouldn't have to suffer just to feed a few misguided egos.