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November 1963

Dental Caries and the Pediatrician

Author Affiliations

State Commissioner of Health State of New Jersey Trenton, NJ

Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(5):449. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050443009

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To the Editor: The editorial "Dental Caries and the Pediatrician," which appears in the August, 1963, issue, evidences an uninformed and seriously biased grasp of the prevention of dental caries by water fluoridation issue. That such an editorial should appear in a responsible journal is indeed regrettable.

The economics of the matter is that the average maintenance cost of fluoridating a water supply is ten cents per person per year. The reduction in caries makes this the best health bargain available today and far less expensive than providing pills.

The "cogent reasons" cited demonstrate most plainly that Dr. Black has not dealt responsibly with the literature:

  1. Many careful dietary and metabolic studies have been done. They clearly outline the parameters of human safety as regards fluoride, and provide the accuracy which permits the safe fluoridation of water supplies.

  2. Concentrations of 1 ppm are harmless to older children and

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