In January of 2011, a motion was submitted to city council to get rid of fluoridated water in Calgary. Nine city councillors signed the motion. It stated five reasons to stop fluoridating water. The motion was passed, with little professional recommendation or community consultation. The debate over fluoridating water has long been a heated topic in Calgary, dating back to as early as 1957.

Fluoride is a chemical formula that has long been associated with prevention of cavities by dentists. That’s why fluoride is a chemical included in toothpaste, mouthwash and used as a topical treatment at the dentist (in those styrofoam tooth moulds).

Fluoridated water, recommended by organizations like the Government of Canada, Health Canada, the Canadian Dental Association, the American Dental Association, the FDI World Dental Association, the Canadian Medical Association, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the US Food and Drug Association and the World Health Organization, affects the dental health of the poorest among us. It is thought to prevent cavities in individuals who may not be able to afford regular dentists visits, fillings for cavities, or even $15 toothpaste with extra fluoride.

If this is true, then the question remains: Why did city council decide, without community consultation or expert advice, to stop fluoridated water? How was this decision made? How has this affected Calgarians since 2011?

So what were the five convincing reasons that moved council to stop fluoridating Calgary’s water? How applicable do those reasons seem to experts today? And what does the future of community water fluoridation look like in Calgary? Read more of the story here.

Editor: Holly Maller |

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