A fluoride conspiracy theorist secretly helped kids get cavities

For some positions, I’m thinking there needs to be an annual exam or recertification process. They do this every year at financial firms, to weed out the folks who won’t follow the rules.


I do wonder: are there any usable statistics about cavities in children across different countries?

Germany, Austria and Switzerland, TTBOMK, do not put fluoride in their water supply. They do, however, use fluoride in toothpaste (also in children’s, but at low levels), and suggest parents provide orally applicated fluoride when the babies get teeth.

Edit for double double words words.




It happens all the time.
One city worker taking out the flouride.
One city clerk deciding who deserves a marriage license.
One election official not counting votes from the opposition.
One cop deciding all harassment, searches and murders are justified.

OK, tens of thousands of cops…


Most commonly available toothpaste in the US contains fluoride in one form or another. You can get toothpaste that doesn’t contain it, usually one of the ‘all-natural’ types, if you really believe it’s bad for you. My opinion is that if you are brushing your teeth anyway (I sincerely hope so!) why not take advantage of a readily available preventative?


Worse, inexplicably, this guy still has his job.


The commission voted to return the water to full fluoridation. It’s not clear whether anyone could face professional repercussions; personnel issues were discussed in a closed session.


I LOVED those Cavity Creeps commercials as a kid.

IIRC, Neal Adam designed them.



This is all part of the undermining of expertise that has been happening in many aspects of life. When one civil servant schmuck thinks he knows more than generations of public health experts, dentists, scientists, epidemiologists, and mountains of peer-reviewed research, we have a real problem.

The benefits of fluoridated water are on par with vaccination in terms of unequivocal, rock solid, iron clad scientific success. Enormous benefits with extremely low risks. It’s as good as public health gets, and public health is rarely such an easy slam dunk win. Being opposed to it is as exactly as stupid as being opposed to vaccines, which luckily nobody is stupid enoug- holds hand to earpiece …. Never mind. Sigh.


Sure, didn’t expect it to be otherwise.

However, in the US, fluoride in tap water is a thing. So, having both, does it make a difference compared to countries where they don’t put fluoride into water?

Basically I am asking if you guys could just stop doing that, or people around here should maybe take it up.

ETA: @VeronicaConnor, it seems you do know the answer to my question. Honest question, do you know international comparisons which are statistically and methodically sound? I’m sincerely not doing devil’s advocate here, I really don’t know. I basically never lived in countries where tap water contained fluoride. (Just FTR, my teeth are ruined - thanks to nursing bottle syndrome.)

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I don’t have studies. But here in Portland, they’ve kept fluoride out of the water. Because Portland.

Every dentist I’ve had here immediately tells me it’s obvious I’m a transplant and didn’t grow up here.


All this yes. And, important, too, fluoride has been a source of conspiracy thinking since the 1950s. Long game, here.


Honestly, water fluoridation is a topic that has been written about and studied so much in the past 100 years that it’s hard to find a specific bit of data like you’re looking for. What you’re asking for amounts to a full literature review for which I am not paid nearly enough by BoingBoing BBS to do. It’s been studied in just about every country around the world, and many cross-comparison studies of large populations have been done within countries.

As a starting point to maybe find what you’re looking for, the WHO is a good place to start:


Brian Dunning also did a 50,000’ overview of the topic with some references at the bottom to start with:


:grin: Good point. I just assumed you had a seminal source at hand, and were much more knowledgeable about this then I am.

I also still wonder why the European countries I lived and worked in aren’t fluoridating their water if the situation is as clear as you say. I’ll have a look at the WHO site and your link, and see where this leads.

ETA: looking into several PDFs on the WHO site didn’t give me the information I was looking for. It seems that finding an answer to the questions I have needs a whole lot more effort. Drat.

That said, I am under the impression, after cursory reading and evaluating some of the available sources, that there is no real need to put fluoride into tap water if the resident population uses toothpaste containing fluoride l. Also, there is no harm doing it, if you don’t have an additional high fluoride uptake by, e.g., drinking a lot of tea. The comments by fellow mutants above made it seem there is an unequivocal basis for putting fluoride in drinking water. I have the growing suspicion that this is a bit of an overstatement, but I definitely prefer it to the conspiracy bullshit and handwaving against fluoride. Mind, I understand the whole premise of the story we discuss here is not if or if not it is necessary, but that some individual apperently just decided that their judgment was better than that of the rest of the community.

By the way, “Texas teeth”? I am collecting new band names, ain’t I?

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“For a single person to unilaterally make the decision that this public health benefit might not be warranted is inappropriate. I think it’s outrageous,” retired Dr. Allen Knowles said

So right, other Dr. Allen K


in a situation like this, not only should the asshat lose his job and be barred from government work in the future (which would immediately get him a long-term hosting gig on Faux News), he should be personally liable for all the dental bills of everyone served by the water district he affected for the next 20 years. also every person in the district should be entitled to sue him, personally, for all their previous dental bills going back to the date of his appointment.




Thank you! That’s a really nice overview.

Fluoridated municipal drinking water—including water that people drink as well as foods and beverages prepared using municipal drinking water—accounts for about 60% of fluoride intakes in the United States [3,8].

60 % is quite a lot. Keeps me wondering about things. I’ll have to look at the sources linked.

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Some areas have naturally occurring fluoride in their water. And some is necessary for bone health.


Thanks, I’m well aware. The thing is: for Germany, e.g., natural occuring flurides concentration is lower then in what I found given for (most) of the US. Still, Germany does not add flurides to tap water, and there seems to be a consensus that toothpaste with fluorides is well enough, and general uptake via food is also enough.

That’s my starting point. I would be interested if there were comparable long-term stats about cavities… But so far, no luck.

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