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UK Against Fluoridation

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment counters experts' fluoride endorsement

Why fluoridation must end now
S hortly before the 2001 Value For Money report identified the health service’s critical weakness in policy assessment, one of Ireland’s most sacred health policies, water fluoridation, came under its first intense public questioning. The health minister did not engage with the questioners directly, but initiated instead an official departmental response that did not adequately scrutinise or assess the policy issues. While there have been several high-profile health scandals, the seven-year long cover-up of water fluoridation surely ranks as one of the least defensible.
From the outset, Irish confidence in water fluoridation has been absolute, as articulated in 1964 by the Supreme Court judge, Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh:

“To deal with the [caries] problem the Oireachtas has chosen a method, namely, the fluoridation of the public water supply. The plaintiff [Gladys Ryan] has failed to refute the evidence that this is not only the most effective method but is indeed the only effective meth­od.”

Absurd as this opinion was then, it is one that is still used by dental advisers with the Health Minister today. It is also employed by the Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health and the Fluoridation Forum, whose 296-page report has been criticised as “defective” by a former chairman of the Western Health Board, Senator Terry Leydon.

Let’s look at some of the main defects of this opinion. Firstly, the size of the current caries problem bears no comparison with the problem of 40 years ago. In contemporary society Ireland has a similar incidence of tooth decay as the rest of Europe, with between one and two decayed teeth per child.

Secondly, the caries problem has been overcome in the rest of Europe by a variety of means other than water fluoridation, indicating other methods (such as education on proper toothbrushing and diet) have been equally effective.

Thirdly, the idea that swallowing fluoride in water is the only effective method of dealing with dental caries is now so absurd that it would be laughable were it not for the fact that the Expert Body spent three hours arguing just that at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health on February 8, 2007.

Leaving aside the question of effectiveness, there are other equally compelling objections to fluoridation, namely the toxicological effects, which the Expert Body admitted to the Com­mittee that it is not an expert on. Incredibly, the Expert Body has been unable to acquire the services of a toxicologist since its inception in April 2003. Bearing in mind that the toxicological effects were instrumental in rejecting the policy in most European countries – in the case of Sweden as long ago as 1972 – the Expert Body’s claim on March 13, 2007 that “there is no health risk to any member of society including babies from consumption of fluoride… at the levels of fluoride observed in Ireland” is both indefensible and irresponsible.

Fortunately, however, the reality of the risk to bottle-fed infants from fluoridated tap water was fully exposed by the Health Committee who again criticised the Food Safety Authority of Ireland for retracting advice to parents in 2001 not to use fluoridated water in infant formula. With the American Dental Association having confirmed the same advice as recently as November 2006, the Health Committee now has a clear and urgent duty to call for water fluoridation to be stopped.

Mr Robert Pocock, Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment

Ireland - Fluoridation is wonderful says expert

The benefits of water fluoridation

T here is overwhelming scientific evidence that water fluoridation significantly benefits dental health and, through this, benefits overall health. As an Irish public health policy implemented for more than 40 years, water fluoridation has been the single most effective and efficient method for delivering fluoride for the benefit of all sections of society, irrespective of social and economic position.
Following the introduction of fluoridation in the Republic, surveys reported mean decayed, missing and filled teeth (dmft) rates of 1.8 in five-year-olds living in fluoridated areas of the Republic in 1984. In comparison, the average dmft in five-year-olds living in non-fluoridated Northern Ireland in 1984 was 4.5. This is in contrast to the pre-water fluoridation situation where there was little difference between the caries experience of children in the two jurisdictions. This study has been recently repeated, and preliminary analysis of the data again highlights the benefits of water fluoridation. If water fluoridation is discontinued, decay rates in the Republic would increase significantly and the negative effects would be felt greatest by the more disadvantaged sections of society.

Water fluoridation in Ireland dates back to the early 1960s. All peer reviewed studies are studied by Irish experts as part of the ongoing review of its safety and effectiveness. Water fluoridation continues to be essential in counterbalancing continuingly poor tooth brushing habits and high rates of snacking on sugary foods and drinks, behaviours where Irish teenagers compare poorly with their European peers. As a public health policy, water fluoridation has resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in decayed, missing and filled teeth in Ireland for children living in areas supplied by fluoridated drinking water.

The effectiveness of water fluoridation in preventing dental decay also continues to be endorsed by a comprehensive range of international bodies including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, which has described it as one of the 10 most important public health advances of the 20th century.

One of the concerns frequently raised about fluoridation is its contribution to increased levels of fluorosis among the general population. Dental fluorosis is a cosmetic effect that can be redressed although this is rarely needed for the level which can be attributed solely to fluoride in optimally treated water supplies. While levels of fluorosis remain low in Ireland and, for the most part, take the form of white spots in the tooth enamel, the Minister for Health and Children has accepted the advice both of the Forum on Fluoride and the Expert Body on Fluorides and Health (set up as in response to the Forum’s report) to lower the current level of fluoride in drinking water to a range of 0.6 to 0.8 parts per million (ppm) from the level of 0.8 to 1.0 ppm set in the 1960s before the advent of fluoridated toothpastes.

Concern has been raised by some around the American Dental Association’s recent provisional recommendation that parents should consider using water that is fluoride-free or contains low levels of fluoride when reconstituting infant formula. While this advice is appropriate for the US, where drinking water may contain fluoride at up to four ppm, it is not appropriate for Ireland, where levels of fluoride are up to four times lower. As such, the Expert Body continues to advise that infant formula should be reconstituted with boiled tap water. It should also be noted that, based on research commissioned by the Forum on Fluoridation, no difference was found between the dental enamel of infants who were breast-fed and those who received infant formula reconstituted with tap water.

Data available to date support the continuation of water fluoridation policies. The epidemiological evidence that fluoride protects against dental caries is strong. Concerns about adverse effects other than dental fluorosis from optimally fluoridated water supplies have not been substantiated. As in all other areas of healthcare provision due regard should and will be taken of findings of ongoing quality research in this area so that the optimal format and degree of fluoridation can be harmonised with the changing health needs of the population. The Expert Body on Fluorides and Health’s view is that fluoridation of Ireland’s drinking water continues to be a crucial and beneficial healthcare policy.

Dr Márie O’Connor, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, Member of the Expert Body on Fluroides and Health

USA - Right to Choose letter

Right to Choose
The author of the editorial "Giving Fluoridation Teeth" (BDN, March 19) asserts: "The public doesn't make decisions about what drugs best manage diabetes or what treatments are most effective for lowering cholesterol. Yet, Maine law allows local voters to decide whether fluoride should be added to their water."
However, individuals do have the right to decide which medications to take, and the right to choose not to take any at all. Why shouldn't we have the same choice simply because the "medication" is added to our drinking water?
Using this faulty logic, one could assert that any number of other substances thought to benefit public health should be added to the municipal water supply. Why not vitamins and minerals, for instance? The answer, of course, is because not everyone needs or wants vitamin and mineral supplements. In some cases, they may even be harmful or contraindicated.
Fluoride, unlike other compounds found in our water, is added to prevent tooth decay - not to make it safer to drink. I believe that the larger issue here is not whether fluoride is helpful or harmful, but an individual's right to choose what substances they ingest.

Darylyne Provost


Friday, March 30, 2007

UK - Fears over water plan letter

Fears over water plan
THE 2003 Water Act requires that if requested by a strategic health authority, the utility company in that area must add fluoride to the water supply. The utility companies only agreed to this when they were granted full civil and criminal indemnities by the government. Greater Manchester SHA has made this request of United Utilities, and there will be a consultation period in July and August this year.

Water fluoridation is medication without consent, which is not allowed under European law. The fluoride would be added in the form of fluorosilic acid, obtained as a by product of the phosphate mining industry, contaminated with trace amounts of arsenic, lead, mercury and other contaminants (I have this information from United Utilities and Yara Industrial chemical company). This acid is a highly corrosive dangerous fuming acid, which cannot be put in land fill, or disposed of at sea. However it can be transported on our road network, and put in our water supply.
In 2000 the government commissioned a systematic review of public water fluoridation from the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York. The members of the review team found that although water fluoridation has been in place in the USA for over 50 years, there were no good quality studies for them to use. This means the results of the review are not accurate (I have that information from the centre. They also found that dental fluorosis (a symptom of fluorine poisoning) affected nearly half of children in fluoridated areas, and suggested that more research was necessary.
In 2001 a doctoral thesis at Harvard found that boys who drank fluoridated water when young had a five to seven times greater risk of developing osteosarcoma.

Contact me at choosepurewater@yahoo.co.uk if you share my misgivings.

USA - No end to Mount Desert fluoride debate

On one side, Mount Desert Water District Manager Paul Slack has called fluoride a “toxin” and a “poison.” On the other, Dr. Dora Anne Mills, the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, recently affirmed her belief that water fluoridation is “one of the ten most successful health achievements of the 20th century.”
Whether the vote at the March 5 town meeting at which Mount Desert residents overwhelmingly voted to end fluoridation by a 229-42 margin will make the town a pioneer in reversing decades of pro-fluoride thinking, as Mr. Slack hopes, or whether the vote was based on “fear” and “misinformation,” as Dr. Mills has said, remains to be seen. But retired Bar Harbor dentist Dr. Gordon Young said in a visit to the Bar Harbor Times office this week that fluoride works and is perfectly safe in small amounts.
Now age 93, Dr. Young said he’s a bit foggy on the dates, but that he arrived in Bar Harbor in the 1950s after serving in the army and attending dental school at Harvard University. He opened an office on the corner of Main and Cottage streets; one day, a nurse came to him and told him that many of the schoolchildren had bad teeth, so he decided to do a survey, looking at the mouths of hundreds of kids. He was not pleased with his findings.
“I said to the nurse, ‘The children's teeth are all rotten, but look, here’s a child without any cavities,’” Dr. Young recalled. “The nurse said to me, ‘that’s unusual.’”
Dr. Young began looking for a way to improve the teeth of children. He said he read of a town in Texas where fluoride naturally occurred in the water and where children had very healthy teeth. He worked to have fluoride added to the water in Bar Harbor and in 1963 — the same year as in Mount Desert — voters approved water fluoridation. Years later, he was surveying the teeth of schoolchildren again.
"I was doing the same thing, checking the children's teeth," he said. "And they all had healthy, strong teeth. Then I came to one child with bad teeth and said to the nurse, ‘Look, here's a child with cavities.’ That had become unusual.”
Mr. Slack, in his information campaign to inform voters of the danger of fluoride, cited a 2006 National Research Council report that said the current maximum contaminant level for fluoride in drinking water set at four mg/liter “does not protect against adverse health effects,” namely fluorosis — a condition that can cause the loss of tooth enamel and the pitting of teeth. The report did not state what level is healthy.
Dr. Young said that over-fluoridation is a valid concern, but that the level added to the water in Bar Harbor — about one milligram per liter — is safe.
“In some places, the natural level of fluoride in the water is too much, and they have to take it out,” he said. “But one part per million doesn’t harm you at all.”
He said the danger in Bar Harbor would come from following Mount Desert’s lead and ending fluoridation, as he fears children’s teeth would revert back to the “rotten” state he witnessed in the 1950s. “Now, the kids’ teeth are like rocks because they've got fluoride in them,” he said.
Jeff Van Trump, the superintendent of the Bar Harbor Water Division, said removing fluoride from the water is “not something we’re going to look at doing” unless residents raise the issue and bring it to a vote.

If their teeth were like rocks why is it not the same in other USA towns that are fluoridated? Plenty of evidence on these pages that show that is not the case.

N.Z. - No fluoride enquiry

There is no need for a formal enquiry into the Far North District Council's decision to fluoridate its Kaikohe and Kaitaia water supplies, the Office of the Auditor General has ruled.

The office has rejected the Citizen's Collective for Fluoride-free Water's request for a review of the public consultation the council undertook before it agreed to a two-year Ministry of Health funded fluoridation trial................

USA - Time to end fluoridation

GUEST COLUMN: Time to end fluoridation
Most people realize the importance of good dental hygiene and good dental habits. Choosing to brush and floss regularly, visiting your dentist, avoiding sweets and other negative nutritional habits are all excellent choices.
I am thankful that we live in a world that allows us to have choices. Most people who oppose community water fluoridation believe that this practice violates their ability to make a choice. They believe that as a human being they have a fundamental right to choose what enters their body.
Fluoridating the public drinking water eliminates their choice to drink pure, natural non-medicated water. It eliminates their ability to make a personal health-care choice.
Most people who oppose community water fluoridation believe this practice may adversely affect their health. The chemicals commonly used in fluoridation are waste by-products of the fertilizer industry and they believe that it is impossible to know the long term cellular and genetic consequence of altering the water that Mother Nature created.
Most people who oppose community water fluoridation believe that this practice violates modern health-care ethics as it relates to mass medication and informed consent. One of the most noticeable changes in health-care in the past 15 years has been the practice of discussing potential side effects and dangers of prescription drugs with patients. Modern health-care protocol requires this practice to ensure that each person fully understands the potential risks and options before they make a health-care decision. Communities that artificially fluoridate the public water supply completely violate modern informed consent practices.
Another change you may have noticed is that prescription drugs are being tailored to the specific needs of each individual. Gone are the days of one or two drugs for everybody with heart disease. Gone are the days of prescribing antibiotics for everyone who walks in the door with a head cold or ear infection.
Imagine how easy it would have been for the medical profession to recommend adding low-grade amounts of antibiotics to our water supply to reduce or prevent infections. Imagine how easy it would be to recommend adding any number of chemicals to our water, air, or food to reduce or prevent arthritis, near-sightedness, memory loss, decreased strength and stamina.
For every common malady, we could add a vitamin or mineral supplement to the water supply. But not once has any other health-care discipline, besides dentistry, ever attempted to add a chemical to our water to reduce or prevent disease. Community water fluoridation is an archaic and unethical form of mass medication.
The practice of community water fluoridation began in 1945, and has slowly grown to include about 65 percent of the nation’s public water systems. The practice was started when America ranked in the top five of the healthiest countries in the world.
Since the early 1950’s America has steadily dropped from the top five healthiest countries in the world to 26th, according to the World Health Organizations 2003 census. Many people believe that altering our food and water supply with pesticides, preservatives, artificial ingredients and chemicals such as fluoride are contributing factors to Americas decline.
Finally, we must always remember that our bodies are living organisms designed to live in balance with our internal and external environments. As such, our bodies have evolved over millions of years without the exposure to the toxins and chemicals that we are now putting into our bodies. The majority of the healthiest countries in the world have banned, rejected or stopped fluoridating their community water supplies for legal, health or ethical reasons.
At the end of the day, this argument comes down to two simple and basic questions: do you believe that the public water supply should be used as a vehicle to deliver drugs, chemicals or substances for the treatment or prevention of disease?
If your answer is “no,” then the argument should stop here and you should not support fluoridation. If your answer is “yes,” then you must answer the second question: How much benefit does water fluoridation provide above and beyond that of proper dental hygiene?
To date I have found no recent scientific studies that demonstrate a measurable significant reduction in dental caries for people practicing proper dental hygiene.
Don’t be fooled into thinking fluoridation is something you should blindly support. Google fluoridation and research the many sites dedicated to this highly controversial practice.
Topically applying fluoride products may help reduce tooth decay. Unfortunately, systemic ingestion of these chemicals may result in adverse health conditions for you and your children. I urge all residents of the Coulee Region to contact their elected officials and urge them to stop, reject and ban this archaic and unethical practice.

Michael Berkley is a chiropractor and town of Onalaska resident.

USA - Fluoride Decisions

Fluoride Decisions
Accolades to Dr. Leo Leonidas for detailing the detrimental effects of fluoride on children and adults (BDN, March 17-18). The new facts make it imperative that the city councils of Bangor and Brewer put the questions of fluoridation to referendum so the people can decide if they want a substance added to the public water supply that may impair their health.
Moreover, the water districts of Bangor and Brewer should not support fluoridation since the recommendations of the American Dental Association are questionable. Nor should the water districts remain neutral. They should come out against fluoridation of the public water supply because there may be unintended consequences. To so otherwise may put the public at risk.
Andrew J. Freese

Our UK water companies should come out with their opinion on fluoridation as well and not rely on a government act to to protect them from wrong doing.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

USA - Wiping Out Tooth Decay Through School-Based Cavities Prevention Program

Forsyth Scientists Wiping Out Tooth Decay Through School-Based Cavities Prevention Program
Main Category: Dentistry News
Article Date: 28 Mar 2007 - 10:00 PDT
During the 85th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research, Forsyth Institute scientists reported that they have developed an effective program for eliminating cavities. This program, called ForsythKids, is an innovative school-based cavity prevention program, which provides elementary school children with oral health education, dental exams, cleanings and preventive care. For children enrolled in the program, one round of treatment reduced new cavities by 50%. After two rounds of the Forsyth model of prevention there was virtually no new tooth decay.
ForsythKids confronts one of today's most pressing oral health challenges: delivering effective oral health care to children at risk of decay. The goal of the program is to increase access and improve health, while creating a model that can be replicated in any community. The elementary school children enrolled in ForsythKids receive a dental exam, tooth cleaning, preventive care consisting of sealants, fluoride, temporary fillings when necessary, and oral health education two times a year without ever leaving their school.

Of the children enrolled in the pilot program, 77% had untreated cavities and 13% had acute infections or abscesses. "Our initial studies have shown that you can effectively prevent, what is today, the most common childhood disease - tooth decay," said Richard Niederman, DMD, Director, Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry at The Forsyth Institute. "Just two weeks ago we saw a terrible tragedy in the national news about a tooth infection that led to the untimely death of a 12-year old boy, who like thousands of other children, did not have access to dental care. Through programs like the ForsythKids we can eliminate barriers to care and improve the health of all children."
The ForsythKids program began as a pilot in two elementary schools in each of three Massachusetts communities: Lynn, Hyannis and Boston. Today, the ForsythKids program is also being rolled out in ten additional communities with a goal of reaching 20,000 children by the end of 2007. ....................

UK - Take fluoride out of water until you can prove there’s no risk’

Take fluoride out of water until you can prove there’s no risk’
Published on 27/03/2007
‘Suspend fluoridation’: Until they have got the research it should be taken out, says campaigner Dianne Standen By Daniel Cattanach
A MARYPORT woman is calling for the Department of Health’s 30 year policy of adding artificial fluoride to the west Cumbrian water supply to be suspended until research into its effects is carried out.
Dianne Standen, of pressure group Cumbrians Against Fluoridation, fears it could be leading to untold damage to the health of thousands of west Cumbrians, who have been drinking the water since they were children in the late 1960s.
She said the added chemical is of a much higher concentration than that of natural fluoride, which is usually used in toothpaste to give healthy teeth, and is a by-product of fertiliser production, containing traces of arsenic.
Her calls come on the day that a graphic postcard campaign is launched outside the United Reformed Church on Cockermouth’s Main Street.
Today’s event, between 10am and 12noon, aims to highlight the public concern about the lack of research and also provide information on the risks of water fluoridation.
Mrs Standen, 55, of High Street, said: “They can’t say with confidence that it’s safe because they’ve got no research to back it.
“Until they have got the research it should be taken out.
“They never did any research before putting it into the water so they have no idea what the long term risks to health are. “This action would not be tolerated if it were a drugs company experimenting upon the public but people trust the Department of Health to act with their best interests in mind.”
She said people who get their water supply from Ennerdale and Crummock Water, including, those from Whitehaven to Ravenglass, Loweswater and parts of Aspatria, were having artificial fluoride added to it. She added that up to 50 per cent of the fluoride intake can remain in the human body for life.
Cumbrians Against Fluoridation, which has been campaigning on the issue for the past seven years, has printed 5,000 postcards, featuring an image of fluoride damaged teeth, which people can send to the Department of Health highlighting their concerns.
Mrs Standen said her two children had developed dental fluorosis, characterised by staining of the adult teeth when they come through in childhood, but she still could not get any answers from the Department of Health. A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “There have been fluoridation schemes in the UK since the mid-1950s, longer in the USA, where the beneficial effects of fluoridated water were first recognised. “No evidence of risks to overall health have been identified. Nevertheless, the Department of Health is committed to maintaining a research programme on fluoridation.

“The department commissioned The University of Newcastle’s School of Dental Sciences to undertake a study into the bioavailability (absorption) of fluoride in naturally and artificially fluoridated drinking water.
“This study, which was published in July 2004, concluded that: ‘There was no statistically significant difference [in absorption of fluoride] between artificially and naturally fluoridated water, or between soft and hard water’.
“We are considering further research and has convened an expert group to advise on how research might be conducted into dental fluorosis, a flecking or mottling of the teeth, which is sometimes associated with the fluoridation of water.”

The study referred to (below)was over a short period of time with fit young students and even one of them had such an unusual test result they ignored it.

"The Newcastle Bio-availability Study 7. In response to the MRC Report, the Department of Health commissioned a study by the University of Newcastle School of Dental Sciences entitled Bioavailability of fluoride in drinking water – a human experimental study (Maguire et al. 2004). 8. The study was carried out on 20 healthy adults aged between 20-35 years."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Better Teeth Through Biochemistry

Lie back in the dentist's chair. Open wide. Now smile. No cavities today, or ever again. That's the promise of a genetically modified mouthwash - soon to be gargled in human trials - that could eradicate tooth decay and have medical implications far beyond good oral health. And here's the fun part: Sugar actually plays a role in the treatment.
The theory is simple. Tooth decay is an infectious disease caused by oral bacteria that turn sugar into lactic acid. The acid erodes tooth enamel. Eliminate the acid, and you eliminate cavities.
Jeffrey Hillman has been trying to do that for 25 years. Pushing ahead with an almost inhuman persistence - work nearly stopped several times while genetic technology caught up to his research needs - the University of Florida professor designed a new bacterium capable of playing nice in the oral ecosystem.
First, Hillman's team isolated a strain of Streptococcus mutans that has a natural antibiotic enabling it to elbow into prime position on the tooth's surface. Hillman then used recombinant DNA technology to delete this superbug's acid-producing gene sequence. The result: a genetically engineered strep called BCS3-L1.

In animal experiments - yes, rats host S. mutans, too - BCS3-L1 displaced the old strep but didn't produce acid, even when the rats ate nothing but sugar. Six months later, this superstrep was still genetically stable, acid-free, and thriving in the rats' mouths. Cavities and side effects? Almost nil.

A magic bullet for tooth decay would work wonders in developing countries where access to dentistry or fluoride is limited. And, since cavities go hand in hand with Ho Hos, it would have an even greater impact in countries like the US, where more than half the population has tooth decay before hitting puberty and almost 90 percent of adults have cavities. The scourge costs $27 billion a year - about half the dental industry's annual revenue. "If it actually works, Dr. Hillman's treatment would change dentistry as we know it," says Kenneth Burrell, the American Dental Association's senior director on the Council for Scientific Affairs. Dentists would still fix chips and treat abscesses, but the old drill, bill, and fill model would be history.
In its place, picture this: A dental technician squirts a syringe of genetically modified mouthwash across your choppers. You sit for five minutes, chew on some sugary candy to activate the new bacteria, and then leave. If it works, OraGen, the strep's patent licensee, stands to reap billions.
But is it safe to colonize millions of mouths with genetically modified bacteria? Trials on humans in the US and UK next year will try to answer that question. Leading scientists like Floyd Dewhirst are optimistic. Bacteria modify themselves all the time, says Dewhirst, who heads the molecular genetics department at Boston's Forsyth Institute. Hillman is just speeding up this natural DNA swapping.

"People are afraid of recombinant DNA technology. It freaks them out. But this Streptococcus mutans has been mutating for millions of years," he says. "It hasn't created evil things."
Aside from its potential for wiping out one of mankind's most common infectious diseases, Hillman's bacterium is the first genetically tailored to displace another organism. Replacement therapy - substituting bad, disease-causing agents with their good cousins - has been around since 1885. The problem with it remains: Good bugs are hard to find. Hillman's version of replacement therapy could demonstrate to a whole generation of scientists that helpful bacteria aren't just born, they're engineered. Ulcers and arteriosclerosis are now thought to be infectious diseases, too, and could be the next targets of elegantly made bacteria. That's something to smile about.

- Charles Graeber

USA - Water fluoridation to referendum in November.?

By Doug Page
Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
TROY — A local group of health professionals wants to put the matter of water fluoridation to referendum in November.
City voters have twice rejected adding fluoride to city water, the last in 1970 when citizens voted to opt out of the state's requirement for such treatment.
Fluoride is added to water systems to help prevent cavities. Opponents claim fluoride poses a health risk.
Tuesday, Miami County Health Commissioner Jim Luken informed the City Council utilities committee of group's plan.
Lukens noted a 2002 community health survey found dental health the top unmet health need in the county. Troy and Covington are the only communities in the county without fluoridated water. Tipp City will have fluoridated water when its new water plant — built in conjunction with Vandalia — comes on line.
The committee will meet again after reviewing all the information. Luken would like the council to endorse the group's effort.
Contact this reporter at (937) 335-3838 or dpage@DaytonDailyNews.com.

USA - Slippery Rock school board ends fluoride tablet program

Slippery Rock school board ends fluoride tablet program
Last updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 8:44 PM EDT
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - A school board in western Pennsylvania has discontinued a program that handed out fluoride tablets to students.
The Slippery Rock School Board voted Monday to do away with the program after teachers said they were worried about the legality of handling the prescription medicine.
For the past 15 years, teachers in the district have given one fluoride tablet daily to students who wanted to participate in the program. The board's lawyer told members in January that teachers should not dispense the supplements.
School nurses said it would be too time consuming for them to issue the tablets.
Board President the Rev. Michael Scheer said the district will notify parents of the decision and nurses will tell parents how to get the tablets.
Slippery Rock was the only school district in Butler County that distributed the tablets, although some districts in neighboring counties have similar programs.
Information from: Butler Eagle, http://www.butlereagle.com

Schools May Soon Get Mobile Hygiene/Dental Services

.....Hylan pointed out that dental health care throughout the state is "at a crisis point. There are over 400,000 total Medicaid recipients, and then one in four kids in Connecticut are on Medicaid. Two thirds of those children receive absolutely no dental care." In Norwalk, 13.2 percent of students under the age of 18 are living in poverty, she said. More than 4,000 Norwalk children are enrolled in the state's Healthcare for UninSured Kids and Youth Plan. .........

Fluoridation is state-mandated in Connecticut:NYSCOF

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

USA - Medical pros debate fluoride in WI village

Medical pros debate fluoride in WI village
HOLMEN, WI — Village officials are hearing their local healthcare professionals debate whether fluoride should be added to the water supply, a March 23 WKBT story reported.In favor of adding fluoride has been dentist Dr. John Carr of Holmen Dental Center; speaking out against the measure is Dr. Michael Berkley of Barge Chiropractic Clinic, the story said.
Carr said in the story, "Fluoride is a great contributor to the reduction of tooth decay … For Holmen, water fluoridation is an issue whose time has come." Berkley said, "Not one other health care profession, besides dentistry, has tried to use water as a vehicle to deliver mass medication and that's what it is … What they supplement the water with, in artificial fluoridation, is a by-product, a toxic chemical from the phosphate fertilizer industry, and, if you were to drink an ounce of it straight up, it might kill you," according to the story.Recently in Mount Desert, ME, in a 229 to 42 vote, residents chose to remove fluoride from their drinking water, making that town the first municipality in the state to do so, according to a story from WaterTechOnline™.

Village officials will wait and see how the public feels about adding fluoride before making a decision, the story said.

State program brings oral screenings to children

The princess had to interrupt her dress-up time Thursday morning to meet dental hygienist Chris Walwrath for an oral screening that is part of a new state-funded program to combat childhood tooth decay.
Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, said Dr. Grant Christensen, staff dentist for the Wyoming Department of Health. About 650 Wyoming children on Medicaid under the age of 5 had to be hospitalized in 2006 because their teeth were severely infected, Christensen said."That doesn't count private insurance or people without insurance," said Christensen, who is also a pediatric dentist in Rock Springs. "It's totally preventable. We are seeing too many young kids with severe tooth decay."
During the exam, Walwrath explained how she was going to look into Kathryn's mouth as the girl marveled at the orange toothbrush she had selected to take home with her.
Thursday morning, Walwrath saw about 30 toddlers and preschoolers. She looked at their teeth for treated cavities, untreated cavities and major tooth decay.
She could tell some had never seen a dentist or a toothbrush before, even though the American Dental Association says brushing should begin when the first tooth comes in and a child should see a dentist by his or her first birthday.
About five of the children had problems Walwrath described as "urgent" and needed to be treated by a dentist immediately. Parents of every preschooler who was screened would be notified and Walwrath said she would do follow-ups with some parents.
"I will let them know what resources they have, what places are accepting children as patients," said Walwrath, who has been a hygienist for more than 30 years. "If there is a financial need, I can get them involved in state programs........

In fluoridated Laramie: NYSCOF

Monday, March 26, 2007

E.W. Borrow Memorial Award

E.W. Borrow Memorial Award
Presented to Alberto Villa (University of Chile), this award, established by the Borrow Foundation, recognizes and stimulates research in oral health prevention for children, with a priority for caries prevention using fluoride in different formats. This is the 16th year of the Borrow Award, which consists of a cash prize and a plaque.

Just looked it up.
The award commenced in 1992 and is awarded annually. Nominations are reviewed by a BMF/IADR Committee. The individual selected will receive a cash award of $2,000 and a plaque, which will be presented at the Opening Ceremonies of the IADR/AADR/CADR 85th General Session & Exhibition in New Orleans, Louisiana, March 21, 2007.


The award is made in memory of the late E.W. Borrow and is supported by the Borrow Foundation.

All about bleeding gums

Bleeding gums could hint at more serious ailments
Posted on : Mon, 26 Mar 2007 03:54:01 GMT | Author : DPA
News Category : Health
Berlin­ Thanks to advances in dental hygiene and technology, more people are keeping their own teeth into old age. But keeping them is only half the battle, and one that's destined to fail if the gums ­ the tissue that actually holds the teeth in place ­ aren't kept healthy. According to German Periodontal Aid, based in Herne, more than two of every three adults suffers from some kind of bacterial disease of the gums. Known as periodontal disease, it's often detected far too late.
"In most cases, there's an infection of the gums, or gingivitis, which is the precursor to periodontal disease," explains Dietmar Oesterreich, vice president of the Federal Council of Dentists in Berlin. Plaque promotes these infections, first in tooth gaps and then along the edge of the gums. Symptoms include bleeding gums, redness and swelling.
If steps aren't taken against the bacteria, the infection can invade the entire mouth ­ the jawbone, periodontal ligaments and the roots of the teeth ­ and invade the apparatus that holds the teeth in their place. Patients usually don't notice what's going on.

"Early symptoms of periodontal disease include bone degeneration, receding gums, bad breath and a foul taste," says Oesterreich. At some point, the tooth loses its grip and simply falls out.

"If the bone is affected, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream," says Stephan Martin, medical director of the West German Diabetes and Health Centre in Dusseldorf. "That increases the risk of a heart attack or a stroke."

The earlier periodontal disease is recognized, the sooner therapy can begin. Many insurance companies cover a diagnosis, known as a Periodontal Screening Index. "The dentist will check out vital areas with a small measuring probe to see how deep the pockets are between the teeth and gums," explains Wolfgang Koch of German Periodontal Aid. That tests the pockets' depth, how prone they are to bleeding and whether the tooth surface is coarse or uneven.
The first step in therapy is to remove any substance that might be promoting infection. "If severe bone degradation has begun or if the teeth are loose, there are surgical treatments or drug regimes that can be used to encourage tissue regeneration," says Oesterreich.
But it doesn't have to go this far. Factors like heredity or hormonal changes are out of a person's control. But smoking, obesity, stress, poor dental hygiene or diets heavy in carbohydrates and sugar are all factors a person can change.
It's vital to brush twice daily and use floss. It's also advisable to clean the back of the tongue with a tongue scraper. "Home dental hygiene is reinforced with regular dentist visits and professional teeth cleanings by a dental hygienist or a dental assistant," says Koch. Not only do these treatments remove potentially harmful material, they also include a fluoride treatment and tooth polishing.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Wales - Dentists want free checks for young and old

Dentists want free checks for young and old Mar 24 2007
Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail
DENTISTS say that giving the under-25s and over-60s in Wales free check-ups would be a major step in saving the nation's teeth. The profession is also calling for a major review of dentistry in Wales, as 74,000 patients have lost access to NHS services since the new contract was signed.There are also fears that vital money for dentistry is being withheld by local health boards in Wales. Because this money has not been spent on dentistry it will return to the Welsh Assembly Government at the end of this month - the end of the financial year.
The claims come as the British Dental Association launches its manifesto ahead of the National Assembly elections in May. The demand for free check-ups to be reinstated for the young and old is key to improving the dental health of the nation as it will persuade more people to look after their dental health.Stuart Geddes, director of the BDA in Wales said, "Dentistry in Wales has undergone fundamental reform in the last twelve months. The Welsh Assembly Government has itself acknowledged that approximately 74,000 former patients have lost access to NHS dentistry since the reforms were implemented."Dentists and patients alike are facing significant problems accessing NHS dentistry in Wales. It's clear that an urgent and thorough review of the reforms is required." Before the dental contract was introduced, check-ups were free for the under-25s and over-60s, but now they face charges of between £12 and £39 when they visit. If they attend for a check-up but the dentist decides that they need some work - for example a filling - they will have to pay the corresponding band charge. Mr Geddes said, "The benefit of the free examination has been removed because people are having to pay for it alongside any work carried out at the time."Older people especially, do not have as much disposable income and are not going to feel the benefit of a free examination."They may feel that they don't need to go to the dentist that often, but even small things like changes to medication can affect the teeth. Older people can also evelop small lesions in the mouth, some of which can be quite nasty. "I think this system discourages the prevention approach that is needed in the dental service."
The new contract introduced three bands of charges for patients - £12, £39 and £177 - according to how much work they have done. Dentists believe that this new system is difficult for patients to understand and is an "oversimplification" of the complex work that dentists carry out.
Official statistics published yesterday by the Welsh Assembly Government reveal that 55% of the Welsh population received some form of dental treatment last year. There are 1,150 dentists on open contracts, equivalent to one dentist for every 2,564 people.In England there is one dentist for every 2,414 people. The BDA said that, before the latest dentistry reforms, 40% of children and 55% of adults in Wales were not registered with an NHS dentist. Although 98% of dentists in Wales signed a new general dental services or personal dental services contract last year, the Welsh Assembly Government has stated that 74,000 former NHS patients are now without a dentist. A WAG spokesman said, "We would expect the British Dental Association to positively lobby on behalf of dentistry in Wales. It would be helpful in making these proposals that some estimate of their cost and relative priority should be included in their submission." 'Water fluoridation has the greatest potential to reduce tooth decay'
The British Dental Association Wales' manifesto makes a thinly-veiled call for the next National Assembly to consider water fluoridation. The manifesto states that it should support a policy which "gets fluoride into contact with teeth in the most clinically effective, cost-effective and acceptable way". The controversial practice of adding fluoride to the water supply - regarded by some as forced mass-medication - is not the only way of protecting dental health. Fluoride can also be added to milk distributed to school children or even to salt. Another idea would be to give away free fluoride toothpaste. But the manifesto states, "Of these methods, water fluoridation has the greatest potential to reduce tooth decay and improve oral health inequalities."
The last place in Wales to have fluoridated water was Anglesey - after it was stopped in 1991, there was a 68% rise in tooth decay levels in children of all ages within five years. For fluoride to be added to the water supply the National Assembly must enact section 58 of the Water Act 2003 which would mean water companies have a duty to fluoridate water supplies if requested to do so by local health boards, following public consultation.

Fluoridated USA

Posted on : Fri, 23 Mar 2007 16:47:01 GMT | Author : General News Editor
News Category : US (World)
No disease in the United States is as widespread as childhood cavities. Nearly 75 percent of U.S. teens have tooth decay by the time they reach 17, says a report by the U.S. surgeon general.Some 25 percent of low-income children entering kindergarten have never visited a dentist. But the risk of cavities in children can be virtually eliminated through procedures such as sealant and fluoride varnish treatments.To practice good oral hygiene:-- Brush and use a water pick. It will reduce the risk of cavities. Brushing removes bacteria as well as the food debris on which the bacteria feed. Brushing should take about 2 to 3 minutes.-- Floss. It can prevent cavities by reaching nearly 35 percent of the mouth a toothbrush cannot reach.-- Visit a dentist on a regular basis.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

What the doctors don't tell you February Issue

Wales - Water fluoridation has the greatest potential to reduce tooth decay'

Water fluoridation has the greatest potential to reduce tooth decay'
Mar 24 2007
Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail
The British Dental Association Wales' manifesto makes a thinly-veiled call for the next National Assembly to consider water fluoridation.
The manifesto states that it should support a policy which "gets fluoride into contact with teeth in the most clinically effective, cost-effective and acceptable way".The controversial practice of adding fluoride to the water supply - regarded by some as forced mass-medication - is not the only way of protecting dental health.
Fluoride can also be added to milk distributed to school children or even to salt. Another idea would be to give away free fluoride toothpaste.
But the manifesto states, "Of these methods, water fluoridation has the greatest potential to reduce tooth decay and improve oral health inequalities."
The last place in Wales to have fluoridated water was Anglesey - after it was stopped in 1991, there was a 68% rise in tooth decay levels in children of all ages within five years.
For fluoride to be added to the water supply the National Assembly must enact section 58 of the Water Act 2003 which would mean water companies have a duty to fluoridate water supplies if requested to do so by local health boards, following public consultation.

"68% rise in tooth decay levels in children of all ages within five years." If this was right surely the York report would have found ample evidence that fluoridation is very effective.

Wales manifesto launched

23rd March 2007
The manifesto calls for a plan to improve oral health
The British Dental Association (BDA) has challenged those standing for election to the National Assembly for Wales to solve the problems facing dentistry in the country.
Included in the BDA Wales 2007 manifesto for dentistry, which was launched this week, are calls for free check-ups for under 25s and over 60s to be restored, increased funding to help those in rural areas access NHS dentistry and action to ensure Wales has enough dentists.
The manifesto also calls for the development and implementation of an action plan to promote and improve good oral health. Wales is the only country in the UK not to have such a plan.
Stuart Geddes, BDA Director for Wales, said: ‘Dentistry in Wales has undergone fundamental reform in the last 12 months. The Welsh Assembly Government has itself acknowledged that approximately 74,000 former patients have lost access to NHS dentistry since the reforms were implemented.
‘Dentists and patients alike are facing significant problems accessing NHS dentistry in Wales. It’s clear that an urgent and thorough review of the reforms is required.’
The manifesto also urges those elected to the Welsh Assembly to support measures that bring teeth into contact with fluoride and provide assurances about funding for dental services in Wales beyond the end of ring-fenced funding in 2009.

"support measures that bring teeth into contact with fluoride" Vague comment, do they mean fluoridation?

Friday, March 23, 2007

USA - Presidential candidate's wife has cancer.

If you looked at the "must see video" Eustace Mullins: Murder By Injection, posted earlier and found it worth while now look at

foxnews on Mrs Edwards faith in her doctor

Uncle Sam - Medicine Man

..............For the record; adding fluoride to a community’s water supply is not about mind control or about the health of your kids’ teeth, both of which are faulty scenarios. It is about government POWER and CONTROL over the community. It’s really quite simple; if you believe the government has the power and the right to add fluoride to the water supply – then you would have to also believe the government has the power and is authorized to add Tylenol, cough syrup, or any other medication/drugs to the water supply. Why would you stop at just the teeth? The body has a lot of organs and a lot of people have a lot of problems.

There is no stopping the government doctor when you let him in your house. Bottom line; the government should not be medicating its populace.

USA - Grassroots organization POWA launches campaign to outlaw fluoridation of municipal water supplies

Whenever a faucet is turned on, the question looms as to the safety of the water that flows out of it. The practice of water fluoridation is a controversial issue which affects families around the world. The Union of Concerned Scientists has called for a moratorium on water fluoridation until an independent panel can conduct research on the health and environmental effects of fluoride.
The Protect Our Water Alliance (POWA), an independent, grassroots initiative, has started an online petition to urge Congress to fully investigate basic safety questions about water fluoridation, including the use of silicofluorides. The alliance was started by a group of concerned citizens from varied backgrounds to raise awareness about environmental health concerns regarding fluoride and fluorine compounds.
Using online campaigns to inform and inspire individuals and organizations around the world, POWA addresses the basis of the public policy and practice of water fluoridation. They also address other uses of fluoride and fluorine compounds that may result in environmental contamination and/or detrimental health effects.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is asking EPA administrator Stephen Johnson to reduce the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for fluoride in drinking water from four parts per million to zero, based on the evidence of fluoride's connection to carcinogens.
In March 2006, a National Research Council panel of the National Academy of Sciences released a report of their in-depth study of fluoride toxicity, completed at the request of the EPA. The panel concluded that the current EPA safety standards for fluoride in water supplies are not protective of the safety of Americans.
The 450-page report details the many health risks from overexposure to fluoride, and makes many recommendations for further scientific research on the health effects of fluoride.
According to many critics of mass fluoridation, fluoride ingestion by our children is out of control, given the skyrocketing rise in dental fluorosis in fluoridated communities. Dental fluorosis is recognized by scientists world-wide as the first clinical sign of fluoride poisoning.
"The mass fluoridation of municipal water supplies is a decades-long medical hoax perpetrated on the citizens of many nations around the world," explained Mike Adams, creator of the popular CounterThink cartoon on fluoride, found at http://www.newstarget.com/021115.html

"The fluoride used in city water supplies is a toxic waste product with proven detrimental health effects to those who consume it," Adams continued. "Those dentists and doctors who promote the mass poisoning of the population with this EPA-regulated toxic waste chemical are engaged in a destructive and harmful con job on their fellow citizens."
Fluoride causes bone cancer
A paper by Dr. Elise Bassin, based on her 2001 doctoral thesis, was published in April 2006 through the mainstream journal Cancer Causes and Control. Dr. Bassin claims that boys who are exposed to water fluoridation between ages 6-8 have a five-fold chance of developing osteosarcoma, a rare and usually fatal form of bone cancer, some years later.
Other well-documented sources have also raised serious allegations related to the decisions and methods used to institute, implement, and promote water fluoridation as a U.S. public health policy.
According to POWA, some recent significant developments and trends have permanently changed the water fluoridation issue:
• A 1998-2000 investigation into fluoridation by the U.S. House Committee on Science ,which exposed the gross inadequacy of testing, approval and regulation of fluoridation chemicals.
• General acceptance of new research showing that fluoride's cavity-preventing effect on teeth is primarily topical, not systemic (meaning that while it may work if swished around the mouth, it does not work by swallowing it). Swallowing fluoride to prevent tooth decay is like drinking sun lotion to prevent a sunburn.
• Dramatic increases in the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis - a clear and visible sign of fluoride toxicity in children - resulting from excessive fluoride intake from multiple sources.
• A growing body of peer-reviewed scientific data linking fluoride intake to a number of adverse health effects, including hip fractures, endocrine disruption, central nervous system disorders, and bone cancer.
No scientific debate allowed on fluoride
Fluoridation proponents often assert that there is no legitimate scientific controversy over the benefits or safety of this measure. At the same time, they have refused to openly discuss the risks and benefits of water fluoridation.
National publicity regarding an apparent cover-up of the fluoride-bone cancer link by Dr. Chester Douglass of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine is especially disturbing. Douglass is currently under investigation for possible ethics violations involving suppression of a rigorous Harvard doctoral study showing strong evidence of bone cancer in young men after earlier exposure to water fluoridation.

He has been accused by a respected Washington watchdog organization, the Environmental Working Group (www.EWG.org), of covering up these findings. The Harvard professor also serves as editor of a newsletter produced by fluoride toothpaste manufacturer Colgate-Palmolive.
The industrial waste products used as fluoridating agents (primarily silicofluorides), which are contaminated with known carcinogens and neurotoxins, have not been tested or approved by the EPA or the FDA for safety or effectiveness.
Fluoridation is a global threat to public health
The health problems caused by fluoride are not limited to the U.S. There are approximately 20 nations around the world suffering the devastating health effects of fluoride ingestion through food and water, including China, Australia, Israel and Turkey. The research revealing these health effects is well-documented and the results are staggering.
And these problems are not just limited to the water. According to POWA, the potential health hazards are the result of "cumulative doses of fluoride from many sources, including dental treatments and products, fluoride-based pesticides, processed foods and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and industrial emissions."
The POWA petition will be submitted to Congress and accompanied by a cover letter listing all the latest developments which will stress the need for support in forming a moratorium on fluoride as well as a Congressional investigation. To sign the petition, visit: http://www.powalliance.org/petitionPowalliance petition

UK - Bolton Letter by Julian

HAVE West Cumbrians given up the fight to get fluoride removed from our water?
I remember completing a survey from Allerdale council about it years ago. I also remember a majority voted against fluoride. But nothing happened. Why? Isn't this country supposed to be a democracy?
My wife, who is from the Ukraine, found she suffered from all kinds of symptoms until she discovered that our tap water was the cause. Since switching to bottled water the symptoms disappeared. Recently we met another couple from the Ukraine who have both suffered unpleasant health symptoms.After taking my wife's advice and drinking bottled water they are feeling better after a week. How many people in West Cumbria are suffering similar symptoms and not realising the cause? What harm is being done? How are those on low incomes, or without a car, expected to buy bottled water? Because of the amount of water one drinks and uses in cooking, it is a major inconvenience even if you can afford it. Why do we have to buy Scottish or Yorkshire mineral water when our tap water comes from our own Cumbrian fells?
I would like to start an internet campaign about this and I am trying to find if there are any local anti-fluoride groups.

I have written an article about the subject at http://www.theparklands.co.uk/end-water-fluoridation-now.html and I would be grateful if you could mention it.
Anyone with an interest in the issue can get in touch with me via the links on that web page.


SCOTS CHILDREN are to have fluoride varnish

Cailan Duane (3) with deputy health minister Lewis Macdonald at the launch.

Scheme to cut dental decay

By Claire Warrender
SCOTS CHILDREN are to have fluoride varnish applied to their teeth in a bid to eliminate dental decay and disease.
Dental nurses will brush on the varnish every six months as part of a groundbreaking initiative called Childsmile.
Aimed at nursery school children in the more deprived areas of eastern Scotland, it is part of a wider package of preventive care offered to youngsters.
Funded by the Scottish Executive, the project has been developed in Fife by dental health expert Dr Graham Ball.
He said half of all children currently suffer from dental decay, which he declared one of the last preventable diseases left to tackle.
A pilot has been running in Fife for some months, but the project was officially launched yesterday by deputy health minister Lewis Macdonald at Inzievar Primary in Oakley.Childsmile will now be rolled out to Tayside, Forth Valley, Lothian and the Borders, as well as Ayrshire and Arran in the west of the country.
Specially trained dental nurses will go into the selected nurseries where, with parents’ permission, children between the ages of three and five will be treated in a non-threatening environment.
The youngsters will be seated on a beanbag while the nurse uses a brush to apply the coating, a process which will take a matter of seconds. The flouride varnish is a golden gel with a pleasant, fruity taste that sets quickly when it is applied and protects the teeth from decay. The golden colour wears off after a few days.
Dr Ball described the initiative as a low tech but effective way to eliminate tooth decay in young people and said research from around the world had shown it worked when used alongside regular toothbrushing and a low sugar diet.
Childsmile will run along with a separate project in the west of Scotland aimed at babies.
Speaking from his base at Cameron Hospital in Windygates, Dr Ball said Childsmile should help reduce inequalities in dental health.
The initiative relies on identifying at risk children in an educational setting and has nothing directly to do with the NHS.
“The advantage for us is that’s where all the children go,” said Dr Ball.
He said Oakley was chosen for the official launch as it is one of the key nurseries targeted in the programme.
“The first thing we have to make sure of is the children are in a regular toothbrushing programme. There was an announcement made in the Executive’s dental action plan that every child would be able to participate in supervised toothbrushing at nursery and we’re just about getting towards that target.”
The programme will develop as the children involved get older, and as they progress through primary school other measures such as fissure sealants may be introduced.
At all stages in the programme, children who need further assessment and possible dental care will be referred to a dentist.
“It’s quite a big thing and it’s been quite challenging to work out, but we have a project that I think is viable,” said Dr Ball.
“Although oral health in Scotland is worse than in England on the whole, this programme and other Childsmile work going on is really groundbreaking and gives us a lot to be proud of.”
Mr Macdonald said, “We have already made significant improvements in children’s oral health and last month, figures from the National Dental Inspection Programme showed that primary one children in Scotland now have the best oral health ever recorded, with 54% showing no signs of tooth decay.”
The scheme will be evaluated over three years with a view to introducing it across the rest of the country. Dental hygienists carry out the treatment, but soon dental nurses will join them.
Email the Editor with your views

Dental access: the growing health care crisis

...................In recent years, an increasing number of studies reveal that poor dental health may also be at the root of a number of other, more serious health effects, with strong links found to lung infections, diabetes, pancreatic cancer, heart disease, viral infections, birth defects and oral and throat cancer. The list goes on, and when combined with national figures that indicate more than 51 million hours of school are lost each year by children, and adults miss more than 164 million hours of work due to dental-related illness, it's concerning that just 22.8 percent of Wisconsin Medicaid recipients and 50 to 70 percent of private paying patients receive dental care in any given year. ........................

Wisconsin is 89% fluoridated:NYSCOF

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Eustace Mullins: Murder By Injection

A must see video

USA - A National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health

“Oral health is essential to general health and well-being at every stage of life.”
A National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health Office of the U.S. Surgeon General
Oral Health Problems: Painful, Costly, and Preventable

Mouth and throat diseases, which range from cavities to cancer, cause pain and disability for millions of Americans each year. This fact is disturbing because almost all oral diseases can be prevented.
For children, cavities are a common problem that begins at an early age. Tooth decay affects more than one-fourth of U.S. children aged 2–5 and half of those aged 12–15. Low-income children are hardest hit: about half of those aged 6–19 have untreated decay. Untreated cavities can cause pain, dysfunction, absence from school, underweight, and poor appearance—problems that can greatly reduce a child’s capacity to succeed in life.
Tooth decay is also a problem for U.S. adults, especially for the increasing number of older adults who have retained most of their teeth. Despite this increase in tooth retention, tooth loss remains a problem among older adults. One fourth of adults over age 60 have lost all of their teeth—primarily because of tooth decay, which affects more than 90% of adults over age 40, and advanced gum disease, which affects 5%–15% of adults. Tooth loss can affect self-esteem, and it may contribute to nutrition problems by limiting the types of food that a person can eat.
In addition, oral cancers pose a threat to the health of U.S. adults. In 2006, an estimated 31,000 people will learn that they have mouth or throat cancer, and more than 7,400 will die of these diseases.
In 2006, Americans made about 500 million visits to dentists, and an estimated $94 billion was spent on dental services. Yet many children and adults still go without measures that have been proven effective in preventing oral diseases and reducing dental care costs. For example, over 100 million Americans still do not have access to water that contains enough fluoride to protect their teeth, even though the per capita cost of water fluoridation over a person’s lifetime is less than the cost of one dental filling................

A very long report - they of course want more fluoridation despite evidence it does not make much difference in the under privileged group. Fluoride mouth wash, fluoride toothpaste and then sealents on top.
Better to improve diet, less sweets, sugar and fizzy drinks. Then not only have better teeth but better health.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

UK - Bolton letter

Water doesn't need to change
By Readers' Letter
I FEEL that the people of Bolton need to be given relevant facts, rather than generalisations, regarding the issue of adding fluoride to our water supply. As well as the "benefits", we need to know of all the possible risks.
If we follow the guideline of drinking two to three litres of water per day, what is the long-term risk of damage to other organs in the body due to fluoridation of water?
Most of the world has rejected fluoridation. America is now having doubts, and other countries have banned or rejected fluoridation, as the long-term environmental and medical effects of fluoride are insufficiently known.
What will be recommended to people who have medical conditions such as reduced kidney function or stomach problems - is their health going to be put in jeopardy?

Children under the age of seven need to use a toothpaste lower in fluoride than adults as too much fluoride is harmful. How much water would a child need to drink for the fluoride to be effective, and at what stage could it be detrimental?
Water is a basic necessity and we have a water supply envied by many other countries of the world. Is this about to change?
Margaret Hallam Glenshee Drive Bolton

One comment attached to article

USA - A Nation in Decay

A Nation in Decay
Posted on : Tue, 20 Mar 2007 17:28:00 GMT | Author : Delta Dental Plans Association
News Category : PressRelease
OAK BROOK, Ill., March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The tragic death of a Maryland boy from a common cavity made headlines across the country recently, raising questions about how this could happen in the world's most prosperous country.
"The truth is that this child died because our dental system failed him, and it continues to fail millions of other children," said Kim Volk, president and CEO of Delta Dental Plans Association. "Our nation is in the midst of a growing oral health crisis that is largely ignored, and it's claiming children among its primary victims."
In fact, no disease in America is as widespread as childhood cavities. Cavities are almost entirely preventable and the cost of prevention is relatively minimal, yet millions of children suffer the social and physical burdens of the disease. By the time American teens reach the age of 17, nearly 75 percent of them have been affected by tooth decay.
Not much has changed in the seven years since the U.S. Surgeon General declared dental and oral diseases a "silent epidemic." In a report released in 2000, Surgeon General David Satcher concluded that, despite tremendous strides made in the past few decades, "profound and consequential disparities" exist in the oral health of our nation's citizens.
Socioeconomic factors play a role in these disparities in terms of the burden of dental disease and access to care. Additional reasons exacerbate the disparities, including lack of community programs like water fluoridation and low public awareness of the importance of oral health, as well as an inability to pay for care. ........

Comment by NYSCOF attached to article

India - Aluminum smelter fall out

..................As we drove to a village on the outskirts of the dirtiest aluminum smelter in the country, Nalco, we were forced to stop as a parade of men dressed in bright orange dress, paint on their faces, were banging drums and cymbals, celebrating the festival of holi, the arrival of spring. They celebrate in colorful garb in their villages as they do every spring although just down the road, on the outskirts of the state-owned Nalco smelter, their cattle are dying in droves from bone-crippling fluorosis -- caused by the excessive fluoride produced from smelting aluminum -- and other undiagnosed diseases.

The people and animals have small tumors on their bodies; the women complain of arthritis-like symptoms and swollen joints that make it hard to do their daily work; the children show signs of genetic malformations. One boy we saw had seven fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot. Another boy was deaf and retarded, his teeth also weakened, possibly by the fluoride. All the malformed children were born after the aluminum smelter was established here. Many of the women cannot be married if the men learn where they are from; similarly, cattle cannot be sold from this community. it is well-known that here a severe poisoning has taken place at the hands of Nalco. ...........

USA - 20 major Maine health, public health, and dental health organizations reiterated their support

Representatives from 20 major Maine health, public health, and dental health organizations reiterated their support for fluoridation of community drinking water at a press conference Monday at the State House.
March 19, 2007 -- AUGUSTA - Representatives from 20 major Maine health, public health, and dental health organizations reiterated their support for fluoridation of community drinking water at a press conference Monday at the State House.
“In light of recent concerns arising from misinformation about fluoride disseminated in some Maine communities, we stand here together to assert our long-standing support for what the U.S. CDC declared as one of 10 most successful public health achievements of the 20th Century – community water fluoridation,” announced Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH, Director of the Maine CDC in the Department of Health and Human Services.
“The single most effective way to prevent tooth decay is fluoridation of public water,” said Don Burgess, MD, FAAP, President of the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among our children. It can interfere with children’s ability to learn and do well in school and can lead to a lifetime of ill health, including tooth loss, pain, infections, and poor nutrition. Dental disease is increasingly linked with other illnesses and chronic conditions such as heart disease.” Burgess said the tragedy is that with about half of Maine children suffering from dental disease, virtually all of this is preventable. “Prevention strategies include fluoride, dental sealants, and regular visits to a dental professional,” he added..............

A whole litany of ain't fluoride effective and safe as well as being pure, I hope the NYSCOF rebut it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Prepared Testimony before the Senate

........There are few more painful ways to die then by exposure to hydrofluoric acid. The acid begins by burning the eyes and eyelids of its victims. Then they experience a dry, hacking cough. Breathing becomes increasingly labored and painful as they gasp in more of the chemical. Their lungs become inflamed and congested, depriving them of oxygen and leading to seizures. Ultimately, many people fall into a coma. Without immediate medical attention, everyone caught in the toxic plume will die within ten hours.

N.Z. - Ministry firm on fluoride despite one more rebuff

Ministry firm on fluoride despite one more rebuff
By Jarrod Booker
Another town's rejection of fluoridated water has not deterred the Ministry of Health from seeking blanket coverage throughout New Zealand.
The mid-Canterbury town of Ashburton knocked back the proposal to introduce fluoride to its town water supply this week. In a district council referendum, 55 per cent voted against it.Elsewhere in New Zealand, the issue continues to generate heated debate.
Last year, Wanganui also rejected fluoridation with a 74 per cent majority.But Hamilton residents decided in a referendum to keep it.The Far North towns of Kaikohe and Kaitaia will soon have fluoridated water in a two-year trial, despite strong opposition from many residents.The Ministry of Health says fluoridated water has been proven to reduce tooth decay and it will continue lobbying to have it introduced in areas without it.Opponents say fluoride poses serious health risks.
Anti-fluoride campaigner Don Church said he was not surprised at the ministry's stance.
"People have made their careers on promoting fluoridation. It is part of the fabric of their being. Even if they were convinced it was harmful, they would expose themselves to liability claims."The ministry's chief adviser on oral health, Robin Whyman, said the policy was that fluoridated water was a safe and effective way to reduce tooth decay.Studies had shown 20 to 30 per cent less decay in children who drank fluoridated water, Dr Whyman said."It's important to remember that 57 per cent of New Zealand people who are drinking reticulated water are drinking water with fluoridation, and it remains an important and core part of maintaining oral health in New Zealand."
Dr Whyman said the ministry would not give up on areas that had rejected fluoride in their water.Getting 100 per cent coverage would be difficult because of the cost of introducing it to small water supplies, but the ministry wanted it as widely used as possible."Admittedly there is a long distance between 57 per cent coverage and 100 per cent coverage. But if we look elsewhere for examples, in New South Wales more than 90 per cent of the population is drinking fluoridated water."
Far North fluoride opponent Jackie Pou said a petition of 2500 signatures had been gathered to oppose the fluoridation trial in her area.
A public meeting was planned in Kaitaia on Monday night.

USA - Top State Health Official Builds Support For Fluoride In Public Water

Top State Health Official Builds Support For Fluoride In Public Water
20 Maine Health Organizations have lined up behind the Maine Center For Disease Control, saying fluoride is the single most effective strategy to address tooth decay. Meeting at the State House Monday, health officials and dentists reiterated their support for fluoridation.
The Maine Center For Disease Control says there has been a lot of misinformation given to the public in recent weeks. Information that suggests drinking fluoridated water can cause cancer or cause bones to become fragile.Two weeks ago Mount Desert was the first Town in Maine to vote to stop using fluoride in their public water, after hearing such concerns."We know of misinformation across the State about fluoride," said Dr. Dora Mills, Maine's top health official. "And yet we know we have 62 years showing not only the efficiency of fluoride but its safety as well."
Some States mandate the use of fluoride in drinking water, but Maine is not one of them. The Maine Center For Disease Control says they are open to such a discussion.
Officials with the Mount Desert Water District say they still believe there is new science about the effects of Fluoride that need to be seriously evaluated.

We know of misinformation across the State about fluoride," So do we.

There is a video

Monday, March 19, 2007

Canada - Fluoridation questioned

Fluoridation questioned
Mon, March 19, 2007
By KATHY RUMLESKI, FREE PRESS REPORTERIs municipal water fluoridation one of the 10 greatest achievements in public health during the 20th century, or is fluoridation "the greatest case of scientific fraud of this century?"
Parents are bombarded with often contradictory information about what is best for our children's health. Water fluoridation is a perfect example. More than 70 per cent of Ontarians are exposed to fluoride through water systems and that's a good thing for our oral health, says the Canadian Dental Association and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (which made the claim above that fluoridation is a great achievement), among others.
Last week, the Middlesex-London Health Unit endorsed the formation of an Ontario fluoridation office, that would keep track of information in the province on this topic. "The office is really to act as a resource to consolidate all of the up-to-date information," said Neil Farrell, director of dental services for the local health unit. "The reason we're fluoridating water is for a person's oral health and I don't want people to lose sight of that.
One of the challenges for health units is some communities, including Stratford, have natural fluoride in their water that is above recommended levels of 1.5 mg/litre. London's water is between 0.5 to 0.8.
Farrell recommends that if water has excess fluoride, children under seven should drink from another source. While the CDA said more than 50 years of extensive research has demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of fluoride, an excess accumulation of fluoride can be toxic and result in death. There are warnings on toothpastes that children under six should only use a tiny amount and be supervised while brushing.
A column published in The Free Press in January tells the story of a Brooklyn boy who died after swallowing fluoride from a treatment by a dental hygienist who had failed to tell him to spit it out. That column was followed by a letter to the editor from Wayne Halstrom, CDA president, who worried about the article's negative impression of fluoride and fluoridation.
"Fluoride is safely and effectively delivered in a number of ways . . . to provide ongoing benefits while tooth enamel is forming," he wrote.
There are many who fight to get fluoride banned from drinking water and to warn us of the dangers of this element, including Robert Carton, a scientist who spent 20 years working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and who has stated fluoridation is a fraud.
He was convinced that fluoridation presented an "unacceptable risk to public health." And then there is the cost issue. In West Elgin, council decided not to add fluoride to the water recently even though the Elgin-St. Thomas Health Unit requested it do so.
"It's a cost benefit: we didn't feel the cost justified the benefit," said Mayor Graham Warwick. So what are parents to do?
We opt for a fluoride-free paste and use tap water for drinking, but when my children were babies, any water they consumed was bottled.
This poses yet another dilemma for parents. Is bottled water safe? Round and round we go again.

Queensland - referendum on fluoridating

A FAR north Queensland council will follow the lead of the Darling Downs' Warwick Shire and hold a referendum on fluoridating their water supply.
Cook Shire Council resolved at its last meeting to hold the controversial poll at the same time as the local elections next March. An education campaign will precede the vote, including a public meeting chaired by the former president of the Queensland branch of the Australian Dental Association, Michael Foley.
Residents of Warwick Shire can expect their vote to go ahead mid-year after technical delays and potential confusion over the now-shelved State Government recycled water referendum.
Cook Shire Mayor Bob Sullivan said talk about fluoridation had increased over the past six months and they had resolved to "put it to the community to decide".
"If there was ever going to be a time for any council to do it, now is the time," he said.Personally pro-fluoride, Cr Sullivan said the council would run an independent education campaign."There are a lot of furfies around with putting supplies into the water, but we want to put all the information out there," he said.
"Opinions appear to be a bit divided because I guess some people want the nice pure water that nobody touches, but that's not really the case anyway."
In October 2005, the State Government offered councils with populations of more than 5000 funding to fluoridate their supplies or face possible compulsory action after five years.Warwick was the only council to take the offer.
Warwick Mayor Ron Bellingham said the community was yet to come to a strong resolution for either side of the debate.
"My concern is to get all the information out there so that people can make an informed decision," he said.
"While I have some difficulty with some of the information that has been promulgated, both for and against, I'm quite comfortable with whatever."
Premier Peter Beattie has previously ruled out adding fluoride to the water grid, which will link the 18 southeast Queensland council areas from late 2008.
Only 5 per cent of Queenslanders have fluoride added to their water supplies – in Townsville, Dalby, Mareeba, Moranbah and Bamaga.
Queenslanders have 30 per cent more tooth decay than residents in other states.

furfies! Never heard that word before. There are plenty of fibs from the pro fluoride protagonists.

Australia - One in four Australians has untreated tooth decay

Dental care is failing the needy
Email Print Normal font Large font Mark Metherell
March 19, 2007
Abbott rules out adding dental treatment to Medicare
ONE in four Australians has untreated tooth decay and public dental care has remained "chronically under-funded" for the past decade, a new national survey of oral health shows.
The findings, which also show about 50 per cent of adults have only "irregular" visits to the dentist, step up pressure on the Federal Government, which tomorrow will be pressed by a national dental alliance to ensure disadvantaged people see a dentist at least every two years.
The Federal Government spends almost as much on health insurance subsidies for private dental care, $438 million a year, as the states spend in total on public dental services, about $500 million.
But the Health Minister, Tony Abbott, yesterday rejected calls for federal intervention, saying "no one should expect further dental initiatives from the Federal Government … I am not ruling them out but I am not ruling them in".
On Labor's promise to restore a national dental program, Mr Abbott said: "Why would you trust it to fix dental services when state Labor governments have been responsible for stuffing up public dentistry?"
Mr Abbott on Saturday released the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's national survey of adult oral health - the first such report in 17 years - which found that in many cases disadvantaged people were three times more likely to have dental problems.
The "pervasive nature of disadvantage is such that it calls for a range of interventions including efforts to tackle the root causes of disadvantage itself", the report said.
The widespread introduction of fluoride into drinking water and toothpaste had not "immunised" people born between 1967 and 1983 against decay.
The report said that on the basis of 2002 figures on public dental care spending, there would only have been enough money to provide every eligible person with one session of basic preventive care every five years.
"Overall this paints a picture of the public system as providing sporadic and problem-oriented care to a small percentage of the eligible population."
Thirty per cent of people said they avoided dental care because of cost and about 20 per cent said that cost had prevented them from having recommended dental treatment.
The Australian Council of Social Services and the Australian Dental Association have established an alliance with other concerned groups and will put their case for national intervention to Mr Abbott tomorrow.
Labor's health spokeswoman, Nicola Roxon, said: "Working families are suffering. Australians are missing out on treatment they need. And Tony Abbott won't help them."

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Australians need a commonwealth dental scheme, not even more water fluoridation

Copy sent to all federal politiciaans and all Queensland State MPs
Water fluoridation used as a distraction for not providing commonwealth dental scheme for the needy
There are 650,000 people on lengthy public dental lists across Australia. Most of these people are resident in states and territories with water supplies already fluoridated at 80 % to 100%. Many of these 650,000 people would be suffering considerable pain or discomfort from decayed teeth. Ironically, Queensland, with only 5% water fluoridation appears to have shorter dental waiting lists than most other states.
A new report by Dentists at the Adelaide Dental School that was promoted nationally on TV on March 17, showed that people who did not have private Health Insurance had significantly more decay than those who could afford Private Insurance. Logically, it would appear then, that how much, or how little money you have, makes more of a difference to your Oral Health than anything else, especially fluoridated water.
It was reported that one in four people across Australian suffer untreated tooth decay and in one in three people avoiding going to a dentist because they cannot afford it This new report touts as proof that water fluoridation is effective because Australians born since 1970 have half the decay that their parent's generation ( before fluoridated toothpaste ). The report's
authors say it is strong evidence of the effectiveness of fluoride in water and toothpaste against dental decay. But what sort of proof is this? Does that mean that the researchers studied those two issues, water fluoridation and fluoridated toothpaste, separately so that they could distinguish between what was due to water fluoridation and what was due to toothpaste, or even due to fissure sealants ( preventative fillings) that dentists are so fond of.
It would be very difficult to separate the two issues of water and toothpaste considering how difficult it is to find non-fluoridated toothpaste in most supermarkets. If the two issues were not separated, it would be a very flawed and misleading study.
Please look at figures sourced from the World Health Organisation, the 2nd graph, at the listed website following, titled "Tooth decay trends in Fluoridated vs, Unfluoridated Countries"
It is obvious that decay rates have been steadily and similarly, decreasing over many years, at least since the 1970s and 80s both in fluoridated and non-fluoridated countries. This generation may have half the tooth decay of their parent's generation, but, it cannot be claimed to be due to fluoridated water, as exactly the same decrease is seen in countries without water fluoridation. Other studies show the decrease started even before the introduction of fluoridate toothpaste
The new report from Adelaide then, is really a bit of a beat-up, similar to a report authored by Mr Gary Slade and Mr John Spencer from Adelaide Dental School, who promoted Townsville's children as having up to 65% less than decay than Brisbane children when it was really only a tiny 0.2 of one tooth surface out of 128 surfaces. With so many Australians on public dental waiting lists, suffering unnecessary distress, it is obvious that this part of the Federal Health Minister, Mr Abbott's Portfolio is in a shambles. However instead of being ashamed of this situation, Mr Abbott on National TV just smirks and says he refuses to reinstate the Commonwealth Dental Health Scheme and that the States have to "grow up" and pay for some things.
The Federal President of the Australian Dental Association, Bill O'Reilly, a couple of years ago reported that the Commonwealth Dental Scheme (before it was axed when Mr Howard came to power), was making a difference to public waiting lists and he called for it to be reinstated. He also admitted that Dental, like Medical should be a Federal Responsibility
under the Australian Constitution.
Mr Abbott is aware that the GST coffers are overflowing, while many people are finding it hard to make ends meet with rising prices of food, water, petrol, and interest rate increases.
Labor has promised a Commonwealth Dental Scheme if they win government. This is welcome news. Meanwhile, Mr Abbott just seems to be misleadingly using water fluoridation as a distraction to avoid the Coalition Government's reponsibility of providing a decent oral health service for hundreds of thousands of Australians in need.

Merilyn Haines
Spokesperson for Queenslanders Against Water Fluoridation Inc.
58 Vied Rd

Reference contradicts the N.Z. Ministry's claim

Reference contradicts the Ministry's claim
Sunday, 18 March 2007, 3:07 pm
Press Release: Fluoride Action Network
Media Release
Ministry of Health's infant formula fluoride reference contradicts the Ministry's claim

The Ministry of Health has claimed the ADA's warning that infant formula NOT be made up with fluoridate water is not applicable in NZ because, in part, "Infant formula is regulated under Standard 2.9.1 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. When the Standard was developed, consideration was given to the fact that fluoridated tap water would be used in the reconstitution of powdered infant formula in New Zealand." This statement was part of the Ministry's official press release.

In fact the background report to this standard, obtained under the Official Information Act, states that the standard was set based on not just unfluoridated water, but on fluoride-free (distilled) water. "The Ministry has simply told the public a blatant bare-faced lie. It is absolutely appalling. Heads need to roll over this" proclaims Mark Atkin, of Fluoride Action Network (NZ). The report even states essentially the same warning as the ADA, for an even lower level of exposure:
"[The advisory] statement on infant formula labels [to consult a doctor about the risk of dental fluorosis if the set level (0.17mcg/100KJ) was exceeded] was proposed for infant formula powders containing levels above 0.5 mg/L when reconstituted with fluorine free water." (emphasis added) "At the levels given the formula may not cause dental fluorosis if prepared with water that has been distilled. However, if used with fluoridated water it may cause fluorosis."
The report goes on to reiterate the point:
"Sources of products that may contribute to excess fluoride ingestion in infants are fluoridated water, infant formula (reconstituted with optimally fluoridated water), "
"The Ministry is obviously determined to tell the NZ public any lie it has to to cover up its fundamentally flawed policy - one that it is politically committed to protecting at any cost. Both National and Labour have been committed to perpetrating the great lie about fluoridation for 50 years. Obviously they won't stop lying until they are forced to" observes Mr Atkin.

USA - Preventing Decay, Preventing Tragedy

After 60 years of fluoridation reaching 2/3 of Americans via the water supply and virtually 100% via the food supply: NYSCOF

Congress Must Help Meet Children's Dental Needs
Sunday, March 18, 2007; Page B08
Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died last month from an abscessed tooth. The Prince George's County boy's passing is an astonishing reminder that our country is far from a land of equal opportunity when it comes to health care.
According to the Children's Health Dental Project, 4 million children are born each year in the United States. More than a quarter of them will have cavities by the time they are toddlers, and more than half will have cavities by the time they reach second grade. Tooth decay remains America's most prevalent chronic childhood disease. It is five times more common than asthma, and can be just as debilitating and fatal -- as Deamonte's death has shown.
Not all children are at equal risk. Children in poverty are twice as likely as their wealthier peers to develop cavities -- and when they do, they develop twice as many cavities. In addition, children in poverty are more than twice as likely to suffer toothaches but less than half as likely to obtain dental care. Why? Because most dentists will not accept their government-sponsored insurance, and alternative treatment sites -- such as health centers, hospitals and dental schools -- are scarce and overburdened.
Some people blame the parents. But research shows that most poor parents strive to obtain proper care for their children. In fact, in the rare instances in which states have fostered successful dental programs, the number of poor parents obtaining care for their children has increased dramatically, becoming almost on par with families that have private dental insurance.
One more fact: For every dollar spent through Medicaid on children's health care, just five cents go toward dental care. Comparing it proportionately, five times that amount is spent on the dental care of more affluent children. This disparity is striking.

But many low-income children don't have access even to minimal dental care. When Congress enacted the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) 10 years ago to cover working-poor families, dental care was listed as an option. Oral health is not -- and should never be -- optional. Deamonte's death has shown us that dental care is integral to a child's health and well-being.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of Deamonte's death is that tooth decay is easily preventable, and when it does occur it can be treated at low cost. Identifying the children most susceptible to dental problems -- and treating cavities as soon as they are detected -- is an investment we should be willing to make before another child's life is lost.

We in Congress should take action to ensure that all children have access to care. First we should require states to provide dental care through SCHIP, not only to children enrolled in the program but also to children whose families' private health coverage does not include dental care. We have an opportunity to do this when we reauthorize SCHIP later this year.

Equally important is ensuring there are enough oral health-care providers available to treat children across the country and that they are adequately compensated for their services. We have introduced legislation -- the Children's Dental Health Improvement Act -- that expands school-based dental sealant programs, encourages dental schools to train more residents, improves Medicaid and SCHIP payment rates to dentists, and provides incentives to dentists willing to work in underserved parts of the country.

America has never promised its children success, but it has always promised them opportunity. Children who suffer from untreated tooth decay are often denied this opportunity because of dental pain that limits their ability to eat, sleep, learn or, as in the case of Deamonte Driver, enjoy life itself.
-- Jeff Bingaman -- Benjamin L. Cardin
Jeff Bingaman (D) represents New Mexico and Benjamin L. Cardin (D) represents Maryland in the U.S. Senate.