Dentistry: Back to Fluorides

In 1949, Antigo, Wis. (present pop. 9,600), became one of the first communities in that state to put fluorides into its water supply in an effort to cut down tooth decay. But anti-fluoridation groups kept up a vigorous campaign, claiming that fluoride, a poison when taken in large doses, had cumulative toxic effects even when taken in small quantities. Despite doctors' denials based on extensive surveys, worried Antigo citizens pushed through a 1960 referendum repealing fluoridation. But before fluorides were eliminated from the town's water supply, the Wisconsin State Board of Health conducted a careful study of tooth...

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