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A dentist's view: Fluoridation is key to community's dental health

Re: City hears pros, cons on fluoride | story, Sept. 19

Fluoridation key to dental health

Every few years, the fluoridation of our local water supply is reviewed by our local elected officials. During these periodic reviews, a very vocal minority uses pseudo-science and scare tactics to discourage the fluoridation of our water supply.

In reading your report from the recent meeting in Dunedin, it seems as if the cost effectiveness of water fluoridation is also being questioned.

As chairman of the Fluoridation Committee of the Upper Pinellas County Dental Association, I represent the local dentists who are part of the Florida Dental Association and the American Dental Association. I am writing to reassure your readers and our elected officials that the facts in favor of water fluoridation are unequivocal.

The overwhelming weight of credible scientific evidence consistently indicates that fluoridation of community water supplies is the single most effective, safe and economical way to prevent dental decay among our citizens, regardless of their age or socio-economic status.

I understand that our local governments are concerned about budgetary restraints, but so, too, are their constituents. It is estimated that every dollar spent on water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment. That kind of return on investment is appreciated by Republicans, Democrats, tea partiers, libertarians and anarchists alike. Indeed, the last survey of Pinellas County residents showed an overwhelming majority, 70.5 percent, support water fluoridation.

While the elected officials in Tallahassee and Washington are speaking about improving access to care, it is quite concerning that our local officials would miss out on an opportunity to preserve one of the most cost-effective forms of access to preventive care. I encourage our elected officials in Dunedin and all of Pinellas County to please keep in mind the long-term and wide-reaching benefits of this important public health program.

S. Edward Hopwood, DMD, Clearwater

Re: Largo High School's International Baccalaureate program

LHS gives kids solid foundation

My letter is in response to the article about Largo High School, particularly to the comment made by one parent concerning LHS' student population and its ability to provide an adequate education for a high school-bound child.

I was pleased to see that LHS has been chosen to serve as an IB school for the central part of the county. The move can only encourage and augment the hard work of their fine staff and faculty.

To be sure, LHS has had its challenges over the past few years. But even in the face of its challenges, the school has provided a strong foundation for moving on to secondary education.

Two years ago, our daughter graduated from LHS. In her senior class, students graduated to seek their educational fortunes at Harvard, Yale and at other colleges and universities throughout the nation and in Florida. So unless those parents expressing concerns have other issues with LHS, why would you not want your child going there?

Joe Glymph, Clearwater

Re: Visions shape Dunedin's $1.8M waterfront plan story, Sept. 17

Plan is bad for the ecosystem

I am unequivocally opposed to this plan. It is deja vu all over again. We just saved Dunedin Beach from having RVs on it and destroying that precious and fragile ecosystem.

Now we want to do the same thing with Dunedin Marina by cramming into its waterfront pedestrian paths, extra marina boat slips and ramps, a parking garage, interactive fountain, more waterfront restaurants, water taxis to Clearwater Beach and Tarpon Springs, and more.

The status of our waterways and marine life is endangered and as time goes by it will get worse. I doubt if they have even consulted with any marine scientists. Does anyone realize what a toxic atmosphere this would create with all of this construction?

There is no way that anyone can responsibly develop this land any further than it already has been. Leave it alone and create a vision that has more foresight, sensitivity and doesn't hurt the environment.

This is another ploy under a slick marketing scheme that has been recycled for years for the city's elite to make even more money under the guise of stimulating our economy in these hard times. Our elected representatives should speak for the majority of citizens the way they were elected to do. Stop this before it is too late and the "vision" turns into a nightmare. Future generations are counting on you to preserve a clean environment.

Karen Weibel Burton, Dunedin

Re: Attacks on the Pinellas Trail in St. Petersburg

Parents, know where kids are

I have used this trail and personally witnessed young people throwing rocks at riders. On one occasion, I turned my bike around and chased them away as they threw some big rocks at me and others.

Parents, where are your kids?

It is your job to know what they are doing.

Dennis Cramer, St. Petersburg

>>Your voice counts

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A dentist's view: Fluoridation is key to community's dental health 09/24/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 24, 2011 12:30pm]
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