Despite the scientific evidences, myths still persist in our societies because there are times when we just can’t accept the empirical data science provides, whether due to bias or habit, it would just be more convenient to stick to long-held beliefs and reject new information. So, in 2007, the Alaskan capital of Juneau voted to stop putting fluoride in their drinking water fearing what it might do to their health.
Now, thanks to a new study led by first author and public health researcher Jennifer Meyer from the University of Alaska Anchorage, we’ve got new insights into the subsequent effects.
In the study, Meyer assessed Medicaid dental claim billing records for two groups of children and adolescents aged 18 or under.
One of these groups represented what the researchers call "optimal" community water fluoridation (CWF) exposure: 853 non-adult patients on behalf of whom Medicaid dental claims were filed in 2003, years before the fluoride cessation began in 2007.
The other group was made up of 1,052 non-adult patients from families who similarly met Medicaid income requirements, and who made the same kind of dental claims almost a decade later, in 2012.
The results? I guess it wouldn’t take too much to figure out what happened.
(Image credit: Joseph Greve/Unsplash via Science Alert)