Medicine: Fluorides Revisited

By proclamation of the American Dental Association, February began with Children's Dental Health Week. It was the 25th anniversary of the world's first test, in Grand Rapids, of an attempt to fluoridate water supplies so that children would need fewer fillings—and fewer extractions. The Grand Rapids program was soon followed by a similar test in Newburgh, N.Y. The results were checked against the dental decay rate of children in comparable cities without fluoridation: Muskegon, Mich., and Kingston, N.Y.

Originally, a mere few hundred scattered U.S. communities had fluorides in their water supplies, deposited...

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