On the pending question of fluoridating our forthcoming river water, I had pretty firmly concluded that using toothpaste with fluoride was enough. Well, it still is, for me and other adults: topical application onto the tooth surface. And my lawn doesn’t need it.
Recently, however, a couple of dental professionals quietly pointed out to me that “topical” doesn’t do it for little kids. Especially in their first several years, the tooth roots and jawbones are forming and slowly hardening, and that’s when trace fluoride in the system makes its most formative contribution. (These professionals, by the way, are not in Yolo County nor engaged in Davis’ debate.) Made immediate sense to me.
For kids, their newly developing dental structures will get trace fluoride through the water or not at all; “topical” can only help what shows above gum line — not the internal developing structures. And “water” includes, of course, not only what they drink but what’s used in cooking. This should be old news, and it’s quite common sense. But I hadn’t read it as an emphasis in the debate. My vote will go for Davis’ small children.
Dale M. Heckman