August 19, 2008 in City

Fluoridated water? What a rotten idea

By The Spokesman-Review
The Spokesman-Review photo

Doug Clark. Amanda Smith/The Spokesman-Review STAFF MUGS
(Full-size photo)

Hola, my cavity-prone amigos.

It’s me again. Mr. Tooth Decay.

Can you believe it? Four years have crawled by since our last visit.

But you know what they say.

“Abscess makes the heart grow fonder.”

Gimme the gas, doc, I’m killing myself here.

But as I was saying …

I love you chuckleheads. Your paranoia has kept the Inland Northwest in a state of dental disrepair.

How many times did you vote down attempts to dump decay-fighting fluoride in the Spokane water supply?

Not once. Not twice.

But three times!

You’d think by now the enemies of Mr. Tooth Decay (anyone with an IQ higher than fungus) would give up and go floss themselves.

But noooo.

The oral health fanatics are dropping the “F” word again.

Ugh. Just thinking about fluoride makes Mr. Tooth Decay want to roll up a sleeve and mainline some corn syrup.

Did you catch the horrible propaganda that took half the front page in Sunday’s newspaper?

The story started off about how rotten the teeth are around here. Kids drink too much soda pop. Tooth brushing is an afterthought. Dentists are in short supply …

Actually, Mr. Tooth Decay got a real giggle out of that part.

But here’s where the article drilled a nerve:

“The medical establishment says there’s one change communities could make to begin turning around the dismal state of the region’s oral health – water fluoridation.”

Mr. Tooth Decay needs this like he needs a root canal.

Look. I appreciate the effort it’s taken to beat down science like a baby seal.

The Spokane Regional Health District can’t meet without a few of my stalwarts showing up to flap their gums against fluoride.

Fluoride makes you sneeze. Fluoride is a Commie plot. Fluoride came from the CIA. Fluoride killed Elvis …

Some of you take the “free choice” route.

As in …

“By gawd. No government’s gonna mess with my Constitutional right to wear dentures.”

So what if Seattle fluoridated its water 40 years ago?

So what if nearly 60 years of scientific research has proved fluoridated water safe and effective?

So what if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rate water fluoridation as No. 9 on the 20th century’s top 10 greatest public health achievements?

That garbage won’t sway my people.

Mr. Tooth Decay’s wigged-out warriors believe “The X-Files” is a National Geographic documentary series.

And that’s what I want to talk to you about.

While I appreciate your zeal, I’m beginning to get a bit worried.

See, we’re well into the 21st century now. The public, I’m sad to report, is not nearly as dumb about public health as it once was.

Across Washington about 62 percent of the residents now drink fluoridated water.

Cheney even fluoridates its water, for crying out loud.

Mr. Tooth Decay doesn’t like this trend. Even worse, I’m afraid more and more people are starting to think of you anti-fluoride folks as – don’t take this in bad way – C-R-A-Z-Y.

Really. I mean over-the-edge bedbug bonkers.

Mr. Tooth Decay thinks his faithful need an image makeover.

So starting today, here are a few rules:

1. No more lining your hats with tinfoil. (You’ll just have to put up with those messages from space.)

2. No bringing up the Manhattan Project or Bigfoot while representing Mr. Tooth Decay in public.

3. And, please. Try not to breathe on anyone. Not everyone is sophisticated enough to appreciate the subtle bouquet from your rotting chompers.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432.

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