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Our Opinion: Fluoride foes: focus on kids' oral health

Fluoridation is dead in Portland, but the issue of improving the dental health of this community’s children should not be.

Think about this: If the money and energy expended on the fluoridation fight could be redirected toward the dental needs of low-income families, what gains would be possible in oral health?

Fluoridation opponents did an efficient job of defeating the May ballot measure on the topic. During the campaign, many of these opponents argued for other methods of preventing tooth decay and its health-related effects. We now challenge these fluoridation opponents to follow through on their assertions and exert an equal level of passion for the ongoing cause of children’s health.

With such a lopsided defeat of fluoridation in Portland, we doubt this issue will re-emerge for many years. Both sides should now concentrate their attention on the relatively poor state of dental health among this community’s most vulnerable children.