In the medical community, there is a furious debate about the benefits / harms of fluoride for human health. Perhaps the most active participants in this decades-long debate are dentists, who insist that optimal fluoride content in drinking water helps to strengthen teeth.
So in 2007, residents of the capital of Alaska, Juneau, voted in a local referendum to completely stop adding fluoride to drinking water. The consequences of this decision were studied by scientists at the University of Alaska (Anchorage) under the leadership of Jennifer Meyer.
The study analyzed data from Medicaid dental bills for two groups of children and adolescents 18 years of age and younger.
The first group of 853 people from 2003 to 2007 (when they stopped adding fluoride to the water) regularly used fluoridated water. The second group of 1052 young patients from 2007 to 2012 drank water where there was no fluoride.
Significant deviations primarily affected children under six years of age. Avoiding fluoride more than tripled the cost of their “trips” to the dentist.
According to Jennifer Meyer, removing fluoride from tap water led to the addition of one additional dental caries treatment over the course of a year, which cost the parents of the children $ 300.
“The cost of the water fluoridation program is a tiny fraction in comparison with the cost of caries treatment, ” summed up D. Meyer.