If you follow fluoride news this week, you may have heard that Portland voted against fluoridated water for the fourth time since 1956. If you don’t follow fluoride news then you won’t give a shit about the rest of this post because it’s about yet another heated debate involving health officials and the community of residents at the mercy of these professionals’ advice or recommendations. Fluoride is widely known to prevent dental problems, specifically tooth decay. With availability of fluoride products and services, fluoride (in water) is said to be one of the Ten Great Public Health Achievements.
Our city recently reduced the amount of fluoride in our tap water. Rather than 1 ppm (parts per million), it is now 0.7 ppm, the minimum recommendation for fluoride levels. My family drink, cook, and use the tap water therefore we are ingesting fluoride. The adults use fluoride toothpaste and Humnoy does too but such a small minuscule amount because it’s the only way he will brush his teeth (Whole ‘notha story). This story is about choosing to decline any further treatments of fluoride and, in this case, that happens at the dentist’s office. Why? Because with anything that’s an industrial by-product, it’s something to wonder if any interventions outside of your normal day-to-day life is necessary. Even the The Journal of The American Dental Association published a study that concluded “[t]here is weak and inconsistent evidence that the use of fluoride supplements prevents dental caries in primary teeth. There is evidence that such supplements prevent caries in permanent teeth. Mild-to-moderate dental fluorosis is a significant side effect.” While we use fluoride at home, that doesn’t mean I want any more of it from the dentist but here’s why my child received fluoride at his dental appointment:
At Humnoy’s very first dentist 1-year-appointment, I had already informed the hygienist that we will be declining any fluoride “at this time.” She seemed to agree and so did the doctor. He then received a clean bill off teeth from the dentist. The assistant then busts out a single-use container and prepares to use it on my child. I ask what it was and as she is applying it, she says “it’s just a little fluoride.” Uhm, okay.
Flash forward another year and new city later, we see a new dentist for a 2-year-appointment. I was a ball of nerves because I have the child, who can’t sit still, remember? I knew Humnoy would have to be held down for any one to go near his teeth. I appreciate the gentle approach and relaxed structure from the assistant and doctor when the toddler resisted. They gave him some time to adjust but had to check under the hood so Gym Hottie held a tearful Humnoy long enough for a glance at all “perfect” 20 baby teeth. Without any info or warning, out comes the familiar little piece of fluoride varnish and before I snapped back from the blood-curdling screams, they had already globbed it all over his mouth, not even teeth since he was squirming like an octopus tentacle.
Never mind that he received fluoride when I didn’t want him to. It’s the fact that my self-determination of willing treatment and my rights with patient (of the mother) involvement were ignored, that is if the jerks were complying with the ADA Code and all.
Has your medical provider disregard your rights or consent to treatment? For your child(ren)?
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