To my regular readers: Wow. This is important to me because it continues to be important to you. A few days ago I posted Medical Myths, Health Fraud Scams and Your Boogie Men. (Please review this.) A day later dozens of you ask me the same question. Instead of responding individually, I’ll use this forum to discuss the topic.
Let’s review. Your concerns involve an Internet article from a source (to which I won’t offer free publicity or page clicks) alleging that fluoridated water is not good for you. (The article also conveniently takes a swipe at immunizations, because … why not?) It alleges that an article in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet cites researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health who note an association between fluoridated water and ADHD. (Be reminded that association is not causation.)
Let’s parse the claims made in this article.
1. Have you ever heard of the source of the article? Neither have I. Have you factored in the credentials of the authors? Consider this tidbit from my previous post: “The Internet often provides you just enough information to confuse you, misdirect you, steer you toward someone’s agenda or paralyze you into inactivity.” The U.S. is a country with freedom of speech and a free press. Unfortunately, this licenses most anyone with a slant or opinion to print anything. That places a special burden on you to be an active, investigative consumer of information. Think critically about these types of claims, as I attempted to demonstrate in the aforementioned post.
2. Have you ever heard of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)? Consider these quotes from the CDC website: “Community Water Fluoridation – For 65 years, community water fluoridation has been a safe and healthy way to effectively prevent tooth decay. The CDC has recognized water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.” (emphasis mine) “Nearly all naturally occurring water sources contain fluoride—a mineral that has been proven to prevent, and even reverse, tooth decay.”
3. Have you ever heard of the World Health Organization (WHO)? WHO deems the evidence so overwhelming in favor of the safety and effectiveness of low doses of fluoridation in drinking water and toothpaste that the organization passed a resolution attesting to its safety in 2007.
4. Have you ever heard of the Harvard School of Public Health? As many of you know, I went there, not only for school but in my own quest for the facts about this fluoridation rumor. It’s easier than you may think to just go to the source. I made a simple phone call. In short, to suggest that the Internet article is an overstatement is an understatement.
5. If such a discovery was poised to change everything we know about drinking water and toothpaste, don’t you think it would be on the front pages of the newspapers and the lead story on the news? Has that happened?
Here’s what the writers of the Internet article could have responsively stated as a reflection of the data:
There are ongoing concerns that use of fluorine can cause health problems if used inappropriately. This finding was reaffirmed in a recent study. However, overwhelming data exists that forms the Standard of Care in medical practice worldwide, namely that in the amounts provided in drinking water and toothpaste, fluoridation is not only safe and effective, but the benefits to oral health far outweigh any theoretical adverse effects. Continued research will define the parameters of safe use of fluoridated products.
Now what does this all mean? Consider these two quotes from my previous post:
“I see at least 20 posts everyday on the Internet that, because they’re spoken with confidence or certainty, you take as truth. Without regard to the source, you’re willing to try or do things that if you actually understood some basic anatomy, physiology or chemistry, you’d ignore – especially when tried and true methods (that you likely aren’t optimally utilizing) are available to you.”
Take away: Don’t stop brushing your teeth with toothpaste and water. (Thank you on behalf of all who communicate with you on a regular basis.)
“These Internet articles and sales pitches assert that they, the authors (or salesmen), alone know the truth, and that everyone else, including your government and your physicians are part of some global conspiracy.”
Take away: Don’t encourage a new cult of non-brushers to join this bandwagon by spreading the word. (Thank you on behalf of all breathing, smelling beings … and dentists, though of course their practices might thank you if you do.)
In sum, we have the weight of 65 years of medical evidence with the endorsement of the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (i.e., the foremost authorities on these matters in the world) and governments around the world that continue to endorse and permit use of fluoridated water among its citizens. You have a single article from a largely unknown Internet source, with no comparable credentials to comment on such matters, that misstates findings and alleges that its authority on these matters is superior to dozens of years of case history usage of fluoridation.
Based on this one Internet article, how many of you have decided to disavow toothpaste and start cleaning your mouth with oil — without asking about the safety and efficacy of that particular endeavor? To you, I ask: Do you know anyone that knows anyone that knows anyone that has suffered the alleged consequences of fluoridation?
Allow me to leave you with the same summary from a previous post: Don’t forget that you’re not alone in pursuit of protecting your health. Your physician, dentists and other members of your healthcare team know the variety of medical options available, and they choose the best one for you from those options. You also have access to healthcare information and advice through 844-SMA-TALK (844-762-8255) and www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com. You’re not alone in your effort to live a better, healthier life. Keep in mind the years of study that went into the education your physicians obtained in order to practice medicine. Let that provide you with confidence and guide you when deciding where to get honest and accurate answers.
Feel free to contact your SMA expert consultant for more honest and accurate answers to any questions you have on this topic.
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