Many will have seen Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant satire Dr. Strangelove. Here is the clip of two famous scenes where the US general (played by Sterling Hayden) who has unleashed an unprovoked nuclear attack on the Soviet Union explains to a British officer (Peter Sellers) how the introduction of fluorine into the drinking water (promoted as a way of reducing tooth decay) was actually a cunning Communist plot to weaken Americans by destroying their precious bodily fluids.
It appears that the good people of the city of Juneau, Alaska thought this film was a documentary because in 2007 they passed an ordinance stopping the fluoridation of water. So how did that work out?
“By taking the fluoride out of the water supply… the trade-off for that is children are going to experience one additional caries procedure per year, at a ballpark (cost) of US$300 more per child,” Meyer explained to KTOO News.
Those figures are based on the youngest children assessed in the study, aged under six years of age.
Of course, more cavities necessitating dental procedures means more money is needed to fix the damaged teeth.
After adjusting for inflation, those increased costs represented anywhere between a 28 percent to a 111 percent jump for the various age groups, with the maximum increase being just over $300 annually for children in the 0 to < 6 age group who grew up with suboptimal CWF exposure. Basically, according to the researchers, the cessation was a very expensive move. … It's unknown whether the latest findings will be enough to sway the minds of other local city assemblies considering enacting their own fluoride bans – but for those who do the actual science, the science on fluoride remains perfectly clear.
But in these days of politicians who are influenced by Alex Jones and QAnon and Flat-Earthers, the power of science to provide rational decision-making has been diminished, so I doubt that they will change course merely because some scientists tell them that it was a stupid idea.