Manataka American Indian Council





November 2009



House Healthcare bill HR 3962 mentions fluoridation

The word "fluoridation" is included as a definition for "disease prevention" in HR 3962 and should be removed. 


I wonder if organized dentistry, both inside and outside of government, had a hand in making sure this was included in this bill in exchange for legislators taking a hands-off approach in what really needs to be done - mandating that dentists treat more low-income Americans.  People in America are dying from the consequences of untreated tooth decay. This has been the subject of several Congressional hearings held by Representative Kucinich.


Most dentists refuse to treat Medicaid patients and 130 million Americans lack dental insurance.


A solution exists - mid level dental professionals - which have already proven successful in other first world countries as well as rural Alaska.  Minnesota just passed a bill allowing Dental Therapists to provide dental care.  However, organized dentistry is vehemently opposed to this.  They like their lucrative monopoly just the way it is.  Dentists routinely use their lobbying clout, with money derived from corporations that profit from tooth decay, to pass laws that benefit themselves - even if Americans must suffer as a consequence.  Then they bash people who live in constant dental pain as shiftless people who party with their money instead of using it for dental care.


So when dentists back water fluoridation, it gives the illusion that they care about poor people who aren't welcomed in dentists' waiting rooms or allowed to sit in their dental chairs. Dentists  prefer to treat the water supply instead.


If fluoridation actually reduced tooth decay, organized dentistry would be screaming that science shows that fluoridation is ineffective, harmful to health and a waste of money.  And they would be right.


Children’s cavity rates are similar whether water is fluoridated or not, according to data published in the July 2009 Journal of the American Dental Association by dentist J.V. Kumar of the NY State Health Department (1). 


In 2008, New York City spent approximately $24 million on water fluoridation ($5 million on fluoride chemicals)(1a).  In 2010, NYC’s fluoride chemicals will cost $9 million (1b).


Fluoride in water at “optimal” levels (0.7 – 1.2 mg/L) is supposed to reduce tooth decay without creating excessive fluorosis (fluoride-discolored and/or damaged teeth).  Yet cavities are rampant in NY’s fluoridated populations (1c). And dental fluorosis afflicts up to 48% of US school children, according to the Centers for Disease Control


More fluoride = more money for dentists?


Despite 60+ years of water fluoridation, Americans are spending more than ever on dental care. "between 1998 and 2008 the increase in the cost of dental services exceeded that of medical care and far exceeded the overall rate of inflation," according to Slate Magazine. Americans paid 44.2 percent of dental bills themselves compared to 10.3 percent of physician costs, Slate reports. (3)


Dentists like to pat themselves on the back claiming they are the only profession endorsing something that would put them out of business. But apparently the more fluoride people get, the more money dentists make.


Dentists' Nominal Net Income for 2000 was $533,000 up from $141,000 in 1982, according to the American Dental Association Survey published in the March 2005 Journal of the American Dental Association. During the same time period, the number of Americans living in fluoridated communities went from 116 million to 172 million. (4)


So, if this Congress really wants to save money, they really need to take the word "fluoridation" out of this bill.  Dentists are showing up all over the country fighting back citizens who are working to stop fluoridation in their own hometowns.  They don't need Congress endorsing fluoridation via this bill or giving out money for them to do so.


Keeping the word fluoridation in this bill shows that legislators are clearly kowtowing to organized dentistry and not doing what's in the best interests of the American people.


If anything, yesterday's election was a mandate for government to reign in wasteful spending.  Fluoridation tops the list.  It should be removed from this bill


Carol Kopf

104 Meridian Road

Levittown, NY  11756



1)  “The Association Between Enamel Fluorosis and Dental Caries in U.S. Schoolchildren,” Kumar & Iida Journal of the American Dental Association, July 2009 (Table 1)





2)  Fluoride: Journal of the International Society for Fluoride Research
     April 1990 (Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 55-67) “Water Fluoridation & Tooth Decay: Results from the 1986-1987 National Survey of US Schoolchildren,” by John A.                 

     Yiamouyiannis, Ph.D.

3)  Slata Magazine, "The American Way of Dentistry, The Oral Cost Spiral" by June Thomas (September 29, 2009)

4)  Fluoridation Statistics: