Silicon Valley's largest drinking water provider took the first steps Tuesday toward adding fluoride to the drinking water in most of Santa Clara County, including San Jose, the largest city in the nation without the cavity-battling additive.
After a lively 90-minute debate at a packed meeting, the board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District voted 7-0 to put the district on record supporting fluoridation.
During the meeting, critics told the board that fluoride has no health benefits, is costly and can lead to problems such as fluorosis -- a pitting of the teeth. But supporters outnumbered them, with dentists and public health officials calling fluoride a key step in reducing tooth decay for children, particularly low-income children without access to regular dental care.
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