It is really easy to find lots of horror stories about fluoridated water on the internet but they never mention the benefits of it. And there are lots of benefits to fluoridated water.
I've told this story before but I'll tell it here again:
When I first moved to Oregon and went to my first dental cleaning the first thing the dentist asked was "You didn't grow up here, did you?" When I asked how he could tell it was because I still had all my teeth. I was in my early 30s -- not the age you think people would be losing their teeth but in Oregon it is rare for a dentist to see someone in their 30s whose teeth aren't falling out of their mouths.
I grew up drinking fluoridated water and I benefit from that. If you look into the history of fluoridation you will find some interesting facts about how it occurs naturally in a lot of water and that is how they discovered the benefits it carries.
If it weren't for Mo's bellyaches and the dentists confirmation that some people do have a sensitivity to ingested fluoride I would never have given it a second thought.
I sent an email to Mo's teacher today asking for some information about the program and about Mo's behavior and letting her know what thoughts I was chasing. I probably won't hear back until Monday when school resumes but I'll be sure to let you all know what she has to say.
As to bottled water. I had a bit of a rethink on that not long ago when I realized how many plastic bottles I was throwing into the recycling bin each week so I went out and bought a water filter for my tap. The lesser of two evils, I suppose.....
One other thing to note - we have fluoride in our water, but we use a filter for our drinking water - so I asked the question to the doctor (funny it is the doctor that always asks about if we have fluoride not the dentist) - will the filter remove the fluoride as well? She wasn't sure, but she also said that there is added benefit when you brush your teeth for instance and if you use the unfiltered water with cooking.
The dentist had also mentioned concern about "eating" fluoride for example your toothpaste, that is why you are not supposed to swallow - if you ingest too much fluoride, you will get white spots on your teeth - not sure if this simply cosmetic.