Dr. Russell D. Dunkel, the state dental director with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said it would be “unconscionable” to discontinue fluoridation during a pandemic that has increased inequities in access to medical care.
“I’ve seen the ravages of advanced dental decay,” Dunkel said. “This is a completely treatable disease.”
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, a pediatrician with American Family Children’s Hospital, said ending fluoridation “would be a massive step backwards in our society.”
Opponents, including a handful of physicians and attorneys in a federal lawsuit seeking to force the Environmental Protection Agency to prohibit fluoridation, argued the risks to developing brains outweigh the benefits to oral health and that medication should be prescribed individually.
“I’m not an expert on the science,” said Tim Sprengelmeyer, who complained that he has to filter his tap water to remove fluoride. “It’s highly immoral to be drugging people against their will.”
Kimberly Smith said she is a lifelong Dane County resident who suffers from brittle teeth as a result of fluoridation, which could cost her $3,000 to repair. She said fluoridating the water supply violates residents’ rights of informed consent on medication.
“There’s no savings on my part when we’re talking about fluoride,” Smith said. “I want to take myself off something that is making me sick, and that is fluoride.”