American Fluoridation Society to Support Communities’ Efforts To Share the Facts and Counter Misinformation about Fluoride

Group’s Leader: “AFS Will Be Active Both Online and On the Ground”

Although the leading health, medical and scientific organizations continue to recommend community water fluoridation as a valuable tool to reduce tooth decay rates, anti-fluoride groups are circulating misinformation online that can confuse or needlessly frighten the public. To combat this, a group of dental and medical professionals have created the American Fluoridation Society (AFS), seeking to debunk myths and clarify the evidence behind fluoridation’s safety and benefits.

The AFS aims to build a broad coalition of health professionals, parents and other Americans who value science and want to advance health and wellness. The AFS will provide testimony and technical assistance to state and local communities that are seeking to start fluoridation or defend the practice against attacks. Last fall, roughly a half-dozen communities voted on ballot measures related to fluoridation.

Fluoridated water reaches nearly 75 percent of Americans whose homes are served by community water systems, over 210 million people. Yet this percentage is below 50 percent in eight states. In recent years, critics have used myths and conspiracy theories to try to pressure local communities into ceasing water fluoridation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has praised fluoridation as one of the “10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.” CDC reports that consuming fluoridated water reduces decay by 25% above and beyond the positive impact of fluoride in toothpaste or other products. The U.S. Community Preventive Services Task Force—an independent panel of experts—recommends fluoridation “based on strong evidence” that it reduces the incidence of tooth decay. Nonetheless, Internet-savvy critics are trying to use the web to confuse the public and distort the scientific evidence.

Dr. Johnny Johnson, a pediatric dentist who is AFS’s president, says the organization will move aggressively to assist communities that want to share the facts about fluoride. “AFS will be active both online and on the ground,” he declared.

Attempts by critics to link fluoride to communism in the 1950s have morphed into new types of conspiracy talk. A few years ago, the New York Times reported on this development: “While conspiracy theories about fluoride in public water supplies have

circulated since the early days of the John Birch Society, they now thrive online, where anyone, with a little help from Google, can suddenly become a medical authority.”

Dr. Johnson knows firsthand how critics of fluoridation can confuse the public and elected officials. “In Pinellas County, Florida—where I live—a handful of people worked behind the scenes to circulate a lot of inaccurate information, and health professionals were caught off guard when a vote was taken to stop fluoridation,” said Dr. Johnson. “Eventually, we were able to reverse that decision, but no community should have to go through that experience.”

Although cavity rates have fallen significantly over the past 50 years, Dr. Johnson warned that Americans cannot take good oral health for granted.

“Before fluoride was added to water and toothpaste, tooth decay was a sad and painful fact of life for nearly all Americans,” Dr. Johnson explained. “Although we see fewer cavities today, tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease for children and adults. This is no time to end fluoridation—a tool that one foundation called “the single greatest discovery in the history of dental medicine.’ ”

“It’s time for people who care about health and wellness to stand firm, join together and speak out,” he added.

AFS has received a grant from Delta Dental Foundation of California, and Dr. Johnson said his organization will seek additional funding from other foundations and individual donors. In addition to Dr. Johnson, AFS’s officers include: Dr. Myron Allukian, Jr., a Massachusetts dentist who serves as Vice President; Dr. Chuck Haynie, an Oregon physician who serves as Secretary; Dr. Kurt Ferre, an Oregon dentist who serves as Treasurer; and Dr. Steve Slott, a North Carolina dentist who serves as Information Director.

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For more information on fluoridation, visit these websites:

American Dental Association

http://www.ada.org/en/public-programs/advocating-for-the-public/fluoride...

Campaign for Dental Health/American Academy of Pediatrics

http://ilikemyteeth.org/ (English) http://spanish.ilikemyteeth.org (Spanish)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/

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Comments

On behalf of the American Fluoridation Society (AFS) and water fluoridation advocates around the world, I want to thank The Lund Report for getting the credible and factual information in front of our own peers, as well as the public.

For far too long, the opponents have used the internet and social media to spread false claims of health ills that they report are caused by community water fluoridation (CWF). While their claims make for great science fiction novels and conspiracy theories, they do not hold up to the test of the scientific method.

In over 71 years of continuous CWF in the United States, not a single adverse health effect has been shown to be related to the levels of fluoride in the drinking water. Try as the opponents may, they lack a shred of credibly conducted and published research to the contrary.

The AFS exists to help you in defending, retaining, restarting, and initiating community water fluoridation in your communities. We are a resource of information both on the credible science, as well as the information to debunk the science-fiction that the opposition commonly uses.

Call upon us at any time. We are here to help all of our families to live the healthiest and happiest lives possible.

Fluoride-Get it from the Tap!! It does your body good!!

Johnny

Johnny Johnson Jr., DMD, MS
President, American Fluoridation Society
Pediatric Dentist
Diplomat American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
info@AmericanFluoridationSociety.com

One of  the biggest problem is with those fluoridation opponents who don't understand science, yet fully believe they do.  They read erroneous information on the internet which appears to them to be new information that they believe has not been made known to the public, that decision makers have either not considered or have covered up for whatever reason, and that if made known by them will "enlighten" people about what these opponents consider to be the "real" facts of fluoridation.  What they can't understand is that this "new" information has long since been well known and properly addressed by appropriate people, or that this information is entirely erroneous and/or irrelevant.

If I had a dollar for every time an obviously uninformed fluoridation opponent has sought to "enlighten" me with their garbled explanation about some elementary fact about fluoridation, and admonished me to "do your research", I could easily retire.

The mindset of these folks will never change, so the key is not to spend fruitless time and effort attempting to educate them, but to simply correct the misinformation they disseminate, and seek to provide valid facts and evidence to those who honestly do desire to properly understand this issue.  This is one of the primary goals of the AFS.

Steven D. Slott,                                                                                                    Information Director                                                                                                     American Fluoridation Society