To the editor:
As a mother of four children, a practicing local dentist and a concerned citizen, I am writing to express my professional and personal experience with the effects of fluoride or lack of fluoride, in our water.
I have read the scientific papers and I have heard the arguments both in favor and against fluoridation. Most of us have access to this information today on the Internet, but what really convinced me of the benefits of fluoride was my three years working Mayo, Fla. Mayo is a small community with no fluoridated city water. Despite our huge efforts on oral health education and nutrition starting at pre-kindergarten ages, the magnitude of rampant decay I saw was like none I have ever seen since in fluoridated cities. I still remember the many children as young as 3 years of age that would come see me with an abscess, pain and swollen face and have to have multiple teeth pulled due to decay. Others would have root canals on permanent teeth by the age of 7. And many young adults would resign themselves to a life with dentures because of the difficulty in controlling the cavities from destroying their teeth.
The pain and infection like these people suffered are preventable with fluoride. I have no doubts of the benefits of fluoride to our teeth. And I have no concerns about side effects when applied in correct doses, as is planned for Pine Island city water. My husband and myself grew up on fluoridated water and I make sure all of my children get the necessary fluoride. And we are all exceptionally healthy and have strong teeth. For the cost of water fluoridation the benefits are immeasurable.
It is whole-heartedly as a dentist and a mother, that I support fluoride in our drinking water.
In good health,
Denise Oakes Lottridge DMD
President of the Lee County