The New York Times Well Blog reports:
I admit to being jealous of my sons for growing up in a time when vaccines spared them miseries like the measles, mumps and polio scares that marred my childhood. But I’m most envious of their freedom from the dental decay that forced me to spend countless miserable hours with my mouth propped open while the dentist did his best to stay on top of rapidly rotting teeth.
By my mid-20s, I had already lost one molar and all four wisdom teeth, and every remaining molar had been restored with fillings.
It’s not that I failed to brush my teeth or that I noshed constantly on sweets. It’s that my teeth lacked the protection of fluoride, which was introduced to New York City’s water supply in 1964, five years before my twin sons were born but 23 years too late for me.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls fluoridation one of the 10 most valuable public health measures of the 20th century. In the early years, rates of tooth decay among the young dropped by 60 percent in communities that adopted fluoridation. My sons, who consumed fluoridated water in reconstituted milk and orange juice as well as in tap water, completed childhood with not one cavity.
Read the rest of the article at The New York Times