The City Council faces the decision to adjust the level of fluoride in Spokane’s water supply to the CDC’s recommended minimum; I am writing to voice my support of this initiative.
Fluoride occurs naturally in most water supplies including lakes, rivers, oceans, and aquifers. However, it’s usually found at levels below what’s needed to maintain oral health. At the right levels fluoride reliably acts as preventive oral treatment, protecting us from tooth decay and cavities. This is important; preventive care can save Spokanites time, money and stress during the time of COVID-19, when our resources are already taxed.
And this is no small cost-savings: every cavity prevented can save a person more than $2,000 over a lifetime. And it comes cheaply to our community; for most cities, every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $32 in dental treatment costs.
I am a graduate student in neuroscience at the WSU Riverpoint campus. Even in the best of times, my classmates often have difficulties finding the time or money to access health care for ourselves and our dependents. During the pandemic, these issues of access and equity have become exacerbated. If enacted, this measure would save my classmates the stress of dealing with preventable disease and would allow us to focus on our studies.
Community water fluoridation helps ensure all people in Spokane have the best chance to live life with a healthy smile, regardless of their insurance or income, or access to regular dental care.