Five years ago, the city of Calgary gave in to a scientifically illiterate campaign against fluoride in its water supply; five years later, Calgary's grade two children each have an average of 3.8 extra cavities.
A study published in the journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology shows that Grade 2 students in Calgary had an average of 3.8 more cavities in 2013-14 than they did in 2004-05. In Edmonton (which continued to fluoridate its water), during the same time period, the number of dental caries (or cavities) increased by 2.1, on average.
In other words, ending fluoridation is not the sole reason oral health has deteriorated, but it is a significant factor.
So, why did Calgary city councilors make a decision that has caused a lot of children unnecessary pain and that will cost their parents a good chunk of change in dental bills?
They essentially bought into the unscientific rantings and overblown fears of a small but loud minority of self-centered chemophobes.
Why did Calgary cave to chemophobes over fluoridation?
[Andre Picard/Globe and Mail]
Measuring the short-term impact of fluoridation cessation on dental caries in Grade 2 children using tooth surface indices
[Lindsay McLaren, Steven Patterson, Salima Thawer, Peter Faris, Deborah McNeil, Melissa Potestio and Luke Shwart/Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology]
Liza Mandelup directed this lovely short documentary on a camp for children with xeroderma pigmentosum, or XP, a genetic skin condition which makes those with the trait extremely sensitive to sunlight. Activities happen during the night, allowing these young people to enjoy the outdoors together.
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