Dentists: Fluoride in water supply is safe

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A battle brewing in the Sunflower State over fluoride in the public water supply has dentists speaking out. They say the Kansas bill spreads misinformation on the use of fluoride in water.

One pediatric dentist called fluoride a difference-maker in preventing children from losing their teeth to decay. Dentists say research on the safety of fluoride is being distorted.

A Republican state representative from Wichita has introduced a bill that would require municipalities that add fluoride to water to notify citizens that:  "The latest science confirms that ingested fluoride lowers the IQ in children."

Wichita is the largest metropolitan area in the nation that does not add fluoride to its water supply.

Oral health advocates, including Pediatric Dentist Glenn Hemberger, are pushing back.

They say the benefits of fluoride in fighting tooth loss can't be quantified, and fluoride has long been determined to be safe.

"It's always hard to counter negative publicity because that is a scare tactic," Hemberger said. "All we can say is that it has never been proven with any credible science to be proven that it's harmful to health."

A Harvard University study cites a relationship between slower brain development and increased levels of fluoride in water. That research focused on children in China, which has a high natural level of fluoride in the water there.

Opponents of fluoride claim eliminating it from the public water supply has the potential to save more lives than outlawing abortion would.

Nearly three out of four Americans live in communities that add fluoride to the water.

The dental association says the bottom line is fluoride lowers tooth decay. That's a proven fact.

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    • Steve Slott


      You evidently are one of the gullible individuals who have paid a fortune to have your amalgam fillings replaced by materials that will wear out much faster, requiring much more expense on your part, in spite of the total lack of any valid, scientific evidence, whatsoever, of harm from “mercury” bound in these restorations.

      I have a bridge I’m interested in selling, if you’re interested……

      Steven D. Slott, DDS

  • bw

    Not to mention that the “science” that dentists rely on was conducted in the early part of the 20th century. How anyone that thinks the toxic waste from aluminum production (aka what the sheep of this country call flouride) is beneficial is beyond me. Even if there were some truth that backed the claim that it benefits the teeth, it is a topical remedy so why would ingesting it be necessary?

    • Steve Slott


      Even if there was any truth to your ridiculous statement that the “science” proponents of the public health initiative of water fluoridation relied on ” was conducted in the early part of the 20th century” that “science” would be far more reliable than the “junk science” of antifluoridationist websites and blogs, upon which you rely.

      The websites of the CDC, the EPA, the National Sanitary Foundation, the ADA, and the World Health Organization (WHO), each has a wealth of accurate information readily to anyone willing to expend the minimal time and effort required to access it. I would suggest you avail yourself of this information before continuing to post nonsensical statements.

      Steven D. Slott, DDS

  • mg

    This battle is being argued from two different views. Yes fluoride may be safe for your teeth but the argument against having it in the water is because of child development issues. I don’t trust a dentist when it comes to brain development. The article fails to mention other possible issues caused by fluoride but you can find those in other studies and articles.

    • Steve Slott


      Please properly cite the “other studies and articles” to which you refer, along with any valid, peer-reviewed scientific evidence, whatsoever, which proves ANY adverse effects, including “developmental”, of water fluoridated at 0.7 ppm.

      It is ironic that you do not trust dentists who have had 4 years or more of intensive, post-graduate, healthcare education and training, and who, along with physicians, are licensed by state and federal government to prescribe the full range of drugs, medications, minerals, and nutrients, while instead, placing your trust in the maintainers of antifluoridationist websites and blogs, who have had no healthcare education, training,,or experience, and have no understanding of the difference between valid science, and “junk” science. Funny.

      Steven D. Slott, DDS

      • mg

        I didn’t mean to rattle you teeth with my comment, I was only trying to point out that the article indicates that dentist say fluoride is safe for your teeth but the opposition say’s that it is affecting brain develpoment in children. Two different arguments. Maybe the headline should have said ” Dentists: Fluoride In Water Supply Safe for Teeth” or put some links to studies indicating that it is also safe to ingest and has no adverse affects in the long run. Just like what I said in my first comment about not mentioning any other “possible” issues caused by fluoride found in studies or articles online. It would have been good if the article mentioned any of these, if any. I wasn’t saying that I have seen or read them, just assuming that would be ones first place to look. It would be nice to see those and have a goto to find that info. And I thank you for posting some of the studies you have read. I think it would have been a better article if you wrote it. As far as trusting a dentist when it comes to brain development, well I guess I should have written it as, ” I wouldn’t bring my child to a dentist to get advise on their brain development.” I know the amount of schooling and practice dentists and doctors have to go through, I have several in the family so I get to hear about it. Just saying I would hire an electrical engineer to do structural design or a tax lawyer when I need a patent lawyer. All have extensive schooling and training and are licensed by the state but they have their specific area of expertise. Now when I need some advise about my teeth then I go to my dentist whom I trust. He is excellent at what he does. I never said I trust “maintainers of antifluoridationist websites and blogs, who have had no healthcare education, training,,or experience, and have no understanding of the difference between valid science, and “junk” science. Funny.” You assumed that on your own. So yes, it is funny. Now on a serious note, if you don’t mind me asking you, is fluoride removed from water with a filter, like one found in a refridgerator water dispenser? Or is the fluoride weakened or removed when the water is boiled for cooking? These were some things I was wondering if people are drinking more filtered water than tap water and aren’t getting enough fluoride. I forgot to ask my dentist those questions at my last visit a couple of months ago.

  • Don Spencer

    To quote General Jack D Ripper from the classic movie Dr. Strangelove – “Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?” Don’t blame the lack of development on flouride..

  • Steve Slott


    There are 175,000 dentists and 850,000 MDs in the U.S. alone Your worldwide total of 365 and 566 which you claim oppose, confirms the neglible amount if opposition to thus beneficial public health initiative amongst respected healthcare providers.

    As far as the effectiveness of fluoridation, here are but a few of the countless, peer-reviewed scientific studies which clearly demonstrate this:

    Children from every age group had greater caries prevalence and more caries experience in areas with negligible fluoride concentrations in the water (<0.3 parts per million [ppm]) than in optimally fluoridated areas (≥0.7 ppm). Controlling for child age, residential location, and SES, deciduous and permanent caries experience was 28.7% and 31.6% higher, respectively, in low-fluoride areas compared with optimally fluoridated areas. The odds ratios for higher caries prevalence in areas with negligible fluoride compared with optimal fluoride were 1.34 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.29, 1.39) and 1.24 (95% CI 1.21, 1.28) in the deciduous and permanent dentitions, respectively. 

    ——Community Effectiveness of Public Water Fluoridation in Reducing Children's Dental Disease
    Jason Mathew Armfield, PhD


    Children with severe dental caries had statistically significantly lower numbers of lesions if they lived in a fluoridated area. The lower treatment need in such high-risk children has important implications for publicly-funded dental care. 

    ——Community Dent Health. 2013 Mar;30(1):15-8.
    Fluoridation and dental caries severity in young children treated under general anaesthesia: an analysis of treatment records in a 10-year case series.
    Kamel MS, Thomson WM, Drummond BK.
    Department of Oral Sciences, Sir John Walsh Research Institute, School of Dentistry, The University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


    The survey provides further evidence of the effectiveness in reducing dental caries experience up to 16 years of age. The extra intricacies involved in using the Percentage Lifetime Exposure method did not provide much more information when compared to the simpler Estimated Fluoridation Status method. 

    —–Community Dent Health. 2012 Dec;29(4):293-6.
    Caries status in 16 year-olds with varying exposure to water fluoridation in Ireland.
    Mullen J, McGaffin J, Farvardin N, Brightman S, Haire C, Freeman R.
    Health Service Executive, Sligo, Republic of Ireland.


    The effectiveness of fluoridation has been documented by observational and interventional studies for over 50 years. Data are available from 113 studies in 23 countries. The modal reduction in DMFT values for primary teeth was 40-49% and 50-59% for permanent teeth. The pattern of caries now occurring in fluoride and low-fluoride areas in 15- to 16-year-old children illustrates the impact of water fluoridation on first and second molars. 

    —-Caries Res. 1993;27 Suppl 1:2-8.
    Efficacy of preventive agents for dental caries. Systemic fluorides: water fluoridation.
    Murray JJ.
    Department of Child Dental Health, Dental School, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.


    Data showed a significant decrease in dental caries across the entire country, with an average reduction of 25% occurring every 5 years. General trends indicated that a reduction in DMFT index values occurred over time, that a further reduction in DMFT index values occurred when a municipality fluoridated its water supply, and mean DMFT index values were lower in larger than in smaller municipalities. 

    —-Int Dent J. 2012 Dec;62(6):308-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1875-595x.2012.00124.x.
    Decline in dental caries among 12-year-old children in Brazil, 1980-2005.
    Lauris JR, da Silva Bastos R, de Magalhaes Bastos JR.
    Department of Paediatric Dentistry, University of São Paulo, Bauru, São Paulo, Brazil.

    Steven D.Slott, DDS

  • Dan

    The practice of water fluoridation has been controversial from day one. It was first introduced in the U.S. in the 1940s, when Grand Rapids, Mich. added fluoride to its public water supply in the wake of wide evidence that fluoride helps strengthen teeth and supports oral health. Many of us use toothpaste with fluoride in it for this purpose, and organizations like the American Dental Association and the International Dental Federation believe that drinking water with added fluoride can help our teeth in much the same way that toothpaste does. After the World Health Organization’s 1969 endorsement, countries throughout the world began fluoridating their drinking water.

    However, in the 1970s through the1990s, some European countries reversed their stance. Countries like Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Finland discontinued fluoridation, while France never even started. The exact reasons for the policy change depend on who you ask. Some sources say it’s because the proclaimed benefits weren’t panning out or because the logistics just weren’t practical for certain areas. Others claim it’s because, technically, fluoride can be poisonous.

  • vffc2013

    The chemical used for fluoridation is not a natural mineral. Fluorosilicic acid used for fluoridation across this country is an unstable poisonous hazardous waste chemical and is unregulated by any government agency and has never been tested for human consumption. If fluoride is released into the air, or water, it is considered a pollutant, but if we put it in our drinking water, they tell us it magically becomes a public health benefit The latest science shows fluoride works best when applied directly to your teeth but most of this poison gets flushed down the drain polluting our beautiful land and waterways. What a waste of taxpayer’s hard earned money. It is also medical malpractice to drug the population with a hazardous waste product without informed consent. Learn more and get involved! see more science on facebook page -Occupy Rutland, Vermont

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