Silly Acid – The Ubiquitous Medical Mineral

Fluoride therapy as a medical necessity is a valuable tool in dispensing dental care. The question of whether or not it should be added to drinking tap water was resolved in 1995 when a majority of Brattleboro citizens decided against it being added to the municipal water supply. It was largely agreed that fluoridation of the water supply amounted to mass medication.

There is also the issue that most of any added fluoride would end up as runoff straight to waste treatment. Moreover, there is no room to site the equipment feeder to add fluoride to the water supply at the water works plant.In fact, Brattleboro’s Pleasant Valley Water Plant is a ground water supply where dissolved mineral residue does provide natural fluoride of about 0.10 milligrams per liter of water, well below any state regulations.

Fluoride is also found naturally in air, soil, rocks and plants. Fluorosilicic acid was formerly referred to as hydrofluorosilicic acid or “silly acid.” Because fluoride is found in abundant sources, the medical science behind it is complicated but fluoride for human uses is strictly regulated with industry standards.

The World Health Organization abstract states, “Effective use of fluorides for the prevention of dental caries in the 21st century: the WHO approach” states that “Research on the oral health effects of fluoride started around 100 years ago; the focus has been on the link between water and fluorides and dental caries and fluorosis, topical fluoride applications, fluoride toothpastes, and salt and milk fluoridation. Most recently, efforts have been made to summarize the extensive database through systematic reviews. Such reviews concluded that water fluoridation and use of fluoride toothpastes and mouthrinses significantly reduce the prevalence of dental caries. WHO recommends for public health that every effort must be made to develop affordable fluoridated toothpastes for use in developing countries. Water fluoridation, where technically feasible and culturally acceptable, has substantial advantages in public health; alternatively, fluoridation of salt and milk fluoridation schemes may be considered for prevention of dental caries.”

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists reports in “Fluorides” that fluoride increases remineralization of hard tooth tissues that helps enamel to be more resistant to acid attack. In “Dental Fluorosis: Chemistry and Biology”. Critical Reviews in Oral Biology & Medicine indicates that fluoride “does not prevent cavities but rather controls the rate at which they develop making them take a lot longer and making them easier to prevent via normal brushing as it will take a higher amount of acid, usually built up over a number of days, to destroy the created tooth enamel.”

Consumer concerns that fluoride causes kidney disease, cancer or other disorders are not backed up by scientifically valid evidence. Both the safety and efficacy of fluoride is established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the CDC “Water Fluoridation Additives Fact Sheet.” (

Despite the overwhelming evidence that water fluoridation is safe, it’s not unusual for small localities like Brattleboro to deny adding fluoride to their water supply. However, if the community is aware of other cavity prevention means, especially for the young, there may not be any demonstrative reason for adding fluoride to the drinking water.

Comments | 31

  • toothy

    I like fluoride, myself, and avoid toothpaste without it. The only health risk that I can find is the possibility of overdoing it and taking way too much, but that’s true of many things. Moderation!

    It’s also not a new cure recently developed by a for-profit pharma corporation without an historical record.

    I don’t see a pressing need to add it to the local water, nor any real reason beyond cost to not do it. The Town could provide free brushes and floss to everyone, too. We could lead the nation in clean teeth! : )

    • Xylitol

      When I researched fluoride, it was after years of taking it for granted. I was aware of the longtime ban locally for the “medicated” reasons as I indicated in my article. But I really didn’t know how pervasive it was in the environment. I was pretty sure a lot of people were aware of water fluoridation, but not necessarily that it’s in ground water, the soil, in the air and rocks.

      I certainly prefer fluoride for my use also, so I looked for products that contained it, like toothpaste, mouthwash, but I also looked for additional help with products that didn’t utilize fluoride.

      One of those products is xylitol, especially in my aftermeal chewing gum. Xylitol is an incredible ingredient (in moderation :~) that also helps with caries protection, and more. See:

  • I don't see why this needs to

    I don’t see why this needs to be brought up again. People should be free to decide which substances they wish to consume, and adding fluoride to the water would be nothing less than forced drugging! And those of us who are big water drinkers would have a problem!

  • Scientific Consensus?

    The claim that concerns over fluoride are not backed up by scientific data parallel those same claims about GMOs.

    Here is a link to an article which cites a large body of research which casts doubt on the wisdom of medicating the entire population through our water supply:

  • The Truth About Fluoride: Facts vs. Myths

    Myth: Fluoride is medication that is forced on communities.

    Fact: The fluoride that is used to fluoridate water is not a medicine. A U.S. court decision ruled that fluoride is a nutrient and not a medication..
    Full text:

    Fluoride Is Not an Essential Nutrient. In the 1950s, dentists believed that fluoride was a “nutrient.” A nutrient is a vitamin or mineral that is necessary for good health. Dentists believed that fluoride ingestion during childhood was necessary for strong, healthy teeth.


  • FDA has ruled that flouride is a drug

    “Fluoride, when used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation,
    treatment, or prevention of disease in man or animal, is a
    drug that is subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

    Perhaps it is also a nutritional mineral… like iron. If you google “iron overdose” you will find that iron toxicity begins at less than double the top of the normal therapeutic dose. Personally I use a toothpaste with lots of fluoride. Whether that is a good idea or not, it is my own, informed decision.

    Like iron, fluoride can occur naturally in water. When someone buys a house, they can have the water tested and decide if they want the naturally occurring minerals in their well water, or if they wish to purchase a specialized filter to remove these minerals.

    Personally I want to be able to make my own decisions regarding intake of minerals, nutritional supplements, and drugs. I certainly do not want an uncontrolled dosage of fluoride added to the fluoride that I have freely chosen to use.

  • Rest upon the water

    As a pretty much lifelong consumer of fluoride, mainly toothpaste and tap water, I don’t much care whether it’s a vitamin, mineral or medicinal. Fluoride’s ability to protect people from cavities is long established and its efficacy is empirically and scientifically valid.

    Any problems that may be associated with fluoride consumption is always related to “high levels” of fluoride. (Remember, “moderation.”)

    Of course, the question of fluoridated water in Brattleboro is decided, having been turned down by a majority (whatever that is) in 1995. For the larger audience, however, it is a moot point so let the debate continue and may your decisions always be good ones and rest upon the water.

  • FDA Fluoride Toxicity Warning

    ““WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately.” – FDA

    Details on why why there is an FDA Warning:
    “Most disturbing, however, is the fact that even bubble-gum and fruit-flavored toothpastes for children contain sufficient amounts of fluoride to kill a child. Indeed, as shown in the following table, an average-weighing 2-year-old child could die from ingesting just 40% of a “Colgate for Kids” bubble-gum flavored toothpaste.”

    “The fact that 5 mg/kg is sufficient to cause fatality does not mean that doses lower than 5 mg/kg should be considered safe. Indeed, symptoms of acute fluoride toxicity (e.g., gastrointestinal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches) can be produced at doses far below the doses that kill. In 1980, for example, Spoerke showed that nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea regularly occurred at dosages lower than 1 mg/kg. In 1982, Eichler showed that dosages lower than 0.5 mg/kg caused nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. In 1994, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that dosages as low as 0.3 mg/kg caused nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and headache. (Gessner 1994). And, in 1997, Akiniwa discussed a range of studies where acute fluoride toxicity occurred at dosages as low as 0.1 mg/kg. Based on the current evidence, therefore, the minimum dosage that can induce symptoms of acute fluoride toxicity appears to be 0.1 to 0.3 mg/kg”

  • Where only the lonely, uninspired and disenfranchised

    I should say at this point that as a near 70-year-old I have never, I repeat, never, known of a single case of fluoride poisoning; not my family, my cousins, nephews, nieces, grandparents, not my friends, associates, coworkers, not the peeps on the street, cafes, bars, festivals and barns, not from neighbors, not from any community members, not from any reportage in the newspapers, no newsletters, local websites or TV news and programs.

    Does that mean that there are never any problems with fluoride consumption? Well, no.

    Even without my awareness of fluoride related, real or imagined, cancers, kidney disorders, jaundice, gastroenteritis, poisonings, discolorations, blue lips, or stiffs on a slab or any other perceived overdose, hospitalizations, general complaints or bellyaching, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take high levels fluoride consumption seriously.

    Now I guess that all those favorable reports about fluoride use has simply gone to my head and blinds me from taking the fluoride warnings and prohibitions too seriously.

    Either that, or this is just a conspiracy on my part to give SK-B his daily dose of 15 minutes of fame.

    Now, I rest my case, to fall upon the mercy of the court of public opinion…until the next article I write where only the lonely, uninspired and disenfranchised need comment, except for that cgrotke fellow who is prone to a good dose of humor.

    • Gratuitously nasty

      “…until the next article I write where only the lonely, uninspired and disenfranchised need comment,”

    • Perhaps you’re right

      It gives the impression I’m referring to more than one person. Sorry about that.

      • For once I thought

        that you had stayed on topic, and acquitted yourself well.

        But in the end, you could not resist diminishing yourself. Better luck next time.

      • Sad

        I have to be honest with you SK-B. There are times when I wish I could shake you off. You really do make me crave for other readers to express their comments. I wouldn’t mind you commenting at all, if there were only more readers who would address my topics. I want our readers to know that I never intend for one person to be so often the sole or dominating one to make comments. Also a one-person commenter defeats the purpose of an exchange of ideas. I don’t mind that so much, because no comment is really okay.

        But more than anything else, I have a record of your relentless comments here on iBrattleboro, where the evidence of your repeated nastiness to me has no bounds. Therefore, it is you who diminish with your very presence. Sad. I would respectfully request that you not reply, but somehow we readers know you will.

        • ?

          You ask me to refrain from commenting on your articles?

          Every comment, mine and yours, was on topic, developing the subject… until you decided to make personal digs which had no relevance to the topic or to anything that had been written until that point.

          • Wishful thinking

            Except for the repetition of your “topical” warning comments, I agree. However, I think our readers know I was referring to far more than just this one article.

            Refrain is wishful thinking, any form of prohibition, certainly not.

          • Discuss topics

            Do not bring in personal grudges. Enough is enough.

  • Does fluoride lead to fighting?

    Sigh. Didn’t we just have a big discussion on this site about personal comments of a negative nature? What ever happened to live and let live? or agree to disagree, for that matter? I’m all for that.

    As for fluoride, I’m of the school that it should be a choice and not forced into us through our water supply. Since fluoridated toothpaste is abundantly available at the same cost as unfluoridated, let people get it there and not out their tap water.

    • Part of the spectrum of discussion

      Lise, Just about any topic that involves social, political, religious, science, pseudoscience and other cultural issues has an argumentative side to it. How could they not. I’m not sure why you would think otherwise. Live and let live is only part of the spectrum of discussion, not the whole ball of wax. The argumentative nature is a question of degree. I also know that you are aware that I do not use personal invective towards anyone on this site.

      As for “personal comments of a negative nature” being made, I depend on the readership of this site to have the clarity of understanding where the pieces fall on that issue.

      About, fluoride, I’m inclined to agree with you. In today’s world, some countries have an array of teeth protection products. That wasn’t always true in this country and fluoridated water was important to help protect children from cavities and loss of teeth. As WHO points out, currently too many third world countries do not benefit from readily available supply products as we do. There fluoridated water would be most beneficial.

      For my personal needs I have found gum and other products with xylitol is very effective in protecting my teeth (especially after meals) and have been using it for the past ten years.

    • Perhaps fluoride does cause

      derogatory, personal insults… or maybe it is something else. Personally, I do not agree that airing personal grudges is intrinsic to the spectrum of discussion. Controversial topics can be discussed respectfully, and with appreciation for those who disagree with you.

      I am not innocent, as I have in the past allowed myself to return personal insults (which never turns out to be a satisfactory remedy). For one thing, someone witnessing a dust-up generally does not care who started it. Even when the other fellow was clearly the aggressor and you think that anyone should be able to see that: To the outside observer, it probably just looks like, “You two guys are at it again.”

      This creates a dilemma: When someone on ibrattleboro maligns your character, is it a good idea to ignore it even though your silence may seem like acceptance; or do you respond, despite the likely perception that you are a willing combatant?

      When I discussed my hospital experience, particularly what it was like to be in a coma, I anticipated the possibility of insensitive comments, but never would have expected that Vidda would accuse me of being a liar who had contrived the experience.

      Vidda’s claim that he does, “not use personal invective towards anyone on this site,” is untrue. He has called me an idiot, among other things. Invective is not limited to a certain list of “naughty” words, so that if you refrain from using those particular words, then you have not used invective. Check Webster’s Dictionary: Invective means, “characterized by insult or abuse.” A public denunciation accusing me of lying about my experience (by someone who was not there and has no actual knowledge) is insulting and abusive. It is invective.

      This was not a single incident. Being targeted had become an occupational hazard of participating on ibrattleboro. I seriously considered withdrawing from ibrattleboro. My reputation is important to me, and being accused of being untrustworthy can harm me, and being drawn into mud-fights does not help either.

      I have heard from more than one person who used to be a regular participant on ibrattleboro, that they no longer use the site because they do not want to be a target of personal abuse and now I considered whether I should also leave.

      I gave it a lot of thought. Vidda has repeatedly stated that he wishes I would go away. Finally, I decided that I will continue to participate, and treat each discussion properly as though there were no past history; but that, if personally attacked, I will respond in a firm, dignified manner. Anyone who wants to check this fluoride discussion, can see for themselves how it played out.

      In theory, we are supposed to report abuse and let the moderators handle it, but I also understand that they mostly stand aside, probably not wanting to feel like parents dealing with quarreling children. I hope that Lise and Chris will never get fed up with endless personal grudges, and I hope that everyone, including Vidda, will feel comfortable participating here.

      • Goodbye Steven. And, good luck.

        If you were a writer as you claim you are, it seems to me that you’d be too busy writing your own material. But perhaps, in frustration with yourself, you have made me your sole topic on this pages. I say I’m your sole topic because when compared to pittance you may have contributed here, I dominate your contributions you make to our readers.

        It’s also not lost on me, that you fixation with me gives you a heck of a lot public exposure than you’d normally generate. When you think about it, your public presence here would me nil without me.

        How sad is that? For the first time, I think I feel sorry for you. You poor man.

        I have submitted close to a hundred or more articles to iBrattleboro since 2010. And, I could not imagine myself being so uninspired or unimaginative to single out one person in the community to exercise my fixation on him or her. I could not even imagine singling out one person to devote so much time to verbally stalking them. By replying to you, I help to perpetuate your problem. I should have written this missive to you a while back when I realized you had a problem. (Unfortunately, some our readers might miss these soap operas, but we must all move on. Sorry guys. {sigh})

        I have rarely done this before, but in the future, I will only click the “Flag as offensive” as it seems appropriate. I’m sure, exactly how that works, but it is now my only recourse.

        There are so many topics, both nonfiction and fiction that I’d like to write that I’ll never be able to cover them all. I’m working on my third novel, which I hope to have finished before the end of this year, in this race against time I am facing with my diminishing health prospects.

        Perhaps you might consider some psychological therapy to cure you of this fixation, especially in light of it being a form of stalking, harassment, often in long comments akin to diatribe, and in oftentimes in an offensive manner.

        K-Brooks I genuinely think you need help. Please do the best you can to seek help so you may go on and build a real connection with our readers here and other outlets. You could have a real writing career ahead of you if can go on beyond this obsession.

        Goodbye Steven. And, good luck.

        • My response

          Personally, I welcome opposing opinions, grounded in facts and logic: Good critiques have helped improve my writing.

          I have had a life-long interest in science, public affairs, psychology, and active participation in my community. These interests parallel many of the subjects about which Vidda writes, so it should be no surprise that I comment on his articles, and he has commented on mine.

          After reading Vidda’s admonition, claiming that I have contributed little original work to ibrattleboro, I checked the links on my homepage and saw that this was just untrue. Perhaps it was an “alternative fact.” Vidda’s threat to report me for abuse if I dare to comment on any article of his, illustrates the difficulty he has had in understanding discourse.

          He has a history on ibrattleboro of making personal attacks, not only against me, but against quite a number of people. Perhaps his inability to reply to a challenging comment with facts and logic, but instead to respond with paranoid counter-attacks, is a sign of his insecurity.

        • A Gentle Plea for Moderation

          As a site moderator, I see these kinds of comments going back and forth from time to time. I’m used to it but still not desensitized. So here are some random thoughts evoked by the issues we seem to be having here in the Fluoride comments.

          – If someone upsets me to the point that I can’t keep my temper when they’re around, I’ve learned that it is generally best if I avoid interaction with that person. I’m reminded of my new favorite quote:

          “The emotional universes we inhabit are so distinct, and in deepest ways opposed, that nothing fruitful or sincere could ever emerge from association between us.” – Bertrand Russell

          – Invective is not somethat that can be legalistically defined and formulated. No need to use nasty names to shred someone into tiny pieces. See above.

          – Airing personal grudges is absolutely not constructive or likely to lead to fruitful discourse.

          – When two parties come to verbal fisticuffs often enough, I tend to think, “Oh, it’s those two again….”

          The problem with character maligning is that it tends to lead to defensive counter-maligning. It doesn’t have to — saintly people might choose to turn the other cheek but most of us aren’t saintly. But one doesn’t have to be a saint to avoid fighting. One of the best ways to avoid belligerent remarks is to scrupulously refrain from making any oneself. Even little tiny poky ones should be avoided if their intent is to annoy another person.

          Speaking as a fellow-contributor, I will say that I have occasionally gotten in trouble with skeptics by talking about various things that scientific people aren’t supposed to talk about. My solution (and I’m not saying it’s a good one): Just don’t talk about certain subjects at all. Which is another downside to an overly aggressive stance when dealing with others. By treating fellow conversationalists as combatants, there’s the risk of scaring away all but the most tough and motivated verbal “fighters.” Something like what we have here, as a matter of fact.

          For me, the bottom line is — this problem will not go away unless those having it want it to.

  • "2017 Voter Info"

    Hey folks, I hope you take the time to check out the “2017 Voter Info,” top of page left here on iBrattleboro. The good lineup makes me look forward to March 7th.

  • Take with a grain of salt

    Some interesting points
    Don’t take his or my word for it.

    People who sign-in can click on “vidda” to see my past entries. Like others I contribute to either the “Story” or “Photo” links. You can also put “vidda” in the search box that will bring you to when I make comments on other “Story” pieces. You can do the same for the “SK-B” pieces.

    (“Story” is a catchall link for various entries.)

    Click on the link that says “View recent content created by SK-B” If I counted by hand correctly, from July 2013 – December 2015, there are about 50 SK-B pieces. Of those, 14 are Photos/images. Of SK-B pieces listed under “Story,” most are related to community info and various other info pieces. Most of those are around two paragraphs or less. One was just a single line. There is little to no evidence of his writing skill.

    Of all the SK-B pieces I commented on 2 of them:

    I did note that he is a member of a writing group at the senior center and that he lists a modest 3 community associations, not including his real-estate background.

    I have no training in writing and have never been in a writing group. I have been writing since high school and started writing publicly in 2002. I write lyrics, poetry, novels and public opinion pieces in a half dozen VT newspapers and a few online sites, including iBrattleboro..

    If any reader looks at the 2 links above for the SK-B pieces that I commented on, you may find that the charges leveled against me by SK-B do not exactly hold up. Ironically, however, in his comments on my articles he is a master of “alternative facts.” Such as you see in this one of mine Silly Acid. You will see here, and in a host of other comments in more of my articles SK-B’s intentional slant and mischaracterizations of me.

    The number of times he has commented on my articles, however, it suffices to say there are too many for me to count.

    Now, I don’t want you to take my word or SK-B’s word for any of the exchange of comments. For those who know my writing on here, however, I think some of you know that I am a straight-arrow and I am not prone to hyperbole. Take SK-B’s comments about me with a grain of salt.

    • Well Lise...

      What now? Gentle moderation? Rival Chihuahuas barking at each other?

      • lol !

        Not too mention, entertaining to viewers, and a possible audience draw. The truth is these comments are really not in need of a moderators. They can mostly stand by themselves. An occasional intervention may be called for, rarely, and only as needed.

        • "Audience Draw"

          Worthwhile writing will get noticed on its merits, without ploys.

          Lise was not intervening as a moderator: She was making a plea for common sense.

          • As a site moderator

            In Lise’s comment above she states, “As a site moderator, I see these kinds of comments….”

            Neither neither did I think Lisa was appealing for common sense.

            I was not referring to worthwhile articles as ploys. I’m talking here about comments. As Lise pointed out to me, “The issue is not with the original article which was more or less fine. It was with the comments that came up later on.”

          • The original article was fine

            (although strangely timed, as you yourself acknowledge that the issue is moot. Dfk-b asked about this, but received no response.)

            The comments were also appropriate until, the “lonely, uninspired and disenfranchised,” comment, which was not about fluoride, but which you yourself acknowledged was a personal swipe aimed solely at yours truly.

            Maybe ibrattleboro needs a “Grudge” category. Or maybe a “Kids quarreling in a sandbox” category.

            Or a “you are getting under my skin” category.

            Or maybe a “Oh, it’s those two again….” category.

            Hey… weren’t you going to stop, and focus on the March7th election?

          • As I said earlier

            As I said earlier, I wanted to call attention to the “ubiquitous” nature of fluoride.  

            Lise and Chris, there is no need to recatorgize anything about iBrattleboro. It is the best thing going as it is.

            When I describe you as stalking my articles, and any comments related to that, I feel justified in saying it and meant what I said.

            I also said before, that I am interested in what the larger body of readership thinks if they should wish to comment.

            I also described this arrangement with you as merely tit-for-tat. I am handicapped with casts on both feet in chronic pain. As a retired person, my time is my time.

            In the same sense, that if a reader clicks on the article for any reason, then it’s their dime, not mine. I hope they find the article readable and somewhat informative, and to enjoy the thread of comments as they want. There are well over 460 views (Reads) on this article, and they are not there for nothing. There is reason why they are there.

  • [reposting in the correct place]

    See “Audience Draw”

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