The World Is Upside-Down, or ‘I Can’t Handle the Tooth!’

January 7th, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  2 Comments

Teeth, teeth, teeth—teeth are on my mind these days. On Wednesday I went to the dentist and was told to, duh, floss more often. Which is fine: At least my teeth are generally in good shape. Unlike Jean’s—last year she maxed out her dental plan, a result of wisdom-teeth removal and the generally poor shape of her chompers. Not that she’s some scaggly-toothed Brit or non-brushing garbage-dweller; her teeth, for whatever reason, probably genetic, just aren’t that great.

Now that Sasha has turned 2, it’s time to get her to the dentist—again. Eagle-eyed Dadwagon readers will remember that last February, Sasha chipped one of her front teeth and was tended to by a dentist, prompting me to worry she’d inherited Jean’s dental DNA (or, through me, my father’s). Still, I thought, Sasha at least had the protection of a fluoridated water supply to keep her mouth healthy. Whoops!

Fluoride in drinking water should be reduced because the additive is damaging childrens’ teeth, the U.S. government recommended today.

So wrote Bloomberg News today. Which, well, fuck. What the hell are we supposed to do now? I mean, New York City apparently fluoridates its water at the low levels the CDC recommends, and city councilman Peter Vallone is trying to get rid of all fluoridation (“This amounts to forced medication by the government,” he said), but the whole situation just frustrates me. What next: carrots make you go blind, milk weakens your bones, kids who eat Wheaties tend to lose? Maybe it all really was a communist plot! To, uh, do what now? Thinking about this makes my teeth hurt.


  1. Jenn says:

    January 7th, 2011at 12:44 pm(#)

    We’ve actually switched to fluoride free toothpaste and we plan on getting a reverse osmosis water filtration system. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not hippies. We don’t eat all organic food, we use regular cleaning products *gasp*, but for some reason we just don’t feel right about drinking fluoride.

  2. TZ says:

    January 7th, 2011at 1:12 pm(#)

    Fluoride was originally put in water before it was widely
    available in toothpaste, so this decision is likely a response to
    the fact that most people now get plenty in their toothpaste. Using
    it topically on the teeth is helpful for those of us with weak
    enamel (be they children or some adults). Not everyone needs it and
    consuming too much of it can lead to damaged enamel. It’s hard to
    get to toxicity levels if you are using toothpaste as directed.
    Water is a whole other ballgame.

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