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Alaskan City Voted to Take Fluoride Out of Water, A New Study Shows the Results of the Policy

Despite the scientific evidences, myths still persist in our societies because there are times when we just can't accept the empirical data science provides, whether due to bias or habit, it would just be more convenient to stick to long-held beliefs and reject new information. So, in 2007, the Alaskan capital of Juneau voted to stop putting fluoride in their drinking water fearing what it might do to their health.

Now, thanks to a new study led by first author and public health researcher Jennifer Meyer from the University of Alaska Anchorage, we've got new insights into the subsequent effects.
In the study, Meyer assessed Medicaid dental claim billing records for two groups of children and adolescents aged 18 or under.
One of these groups represented what the researchers call "optimal" community water fluoridation (CWF) exposure: 853 non-adult patients on behalf of whom Medicaid dental claims were filed in 2003, years before the fluoride cessation began in 2007.
The other group was made up of 1,052 non-adult patients from families who similarly met Medicaid income requirements, and who made the same kind of dental claims almost a decade later, in 2012.

The results? I guess it wouldn't take too much to figure out what happened.

(Image credit: Joseph Greve/Unsplash via Science Alert)


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It can be a tricky balancing act as the amount of tap water consumed and exposure to other fluoride products varies a lot (especially with bottled water's popularity and its unknown amount of fluoride). For some effects, the same dosage may affect kids different than adults. Some of the suspect problems from excess fluorine exposer are from compounding of other problems (e.g. affecting absorption of heavy metals). The usage of tap water and these compound problems can also correlate heavily with demographics too.

That said, it seems there is a lot of evidence that recommended dosage is quite a ways from problematic dosage, other than some possible cosmetic effects. The one acute case I remember of people getting sick and someone dying involved over hundred times the recommended dosage. Research about chronic exposure is a bit more difficult though.
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My older brother and I were born and raised for two years where the municipal water was artificially fluoridated to the "optimal" amount. My two younger siblings were born and raised in a town whose well water was naturally fluoridation at four times the "optimal".

The result of our little family experiment? My older brother and I have a normal amount of tooth decay. My younger siblings have had one cavity total in a combined 110 years of life. I think we need to increase fluoridation instead of getting rid of it.
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