Growing up, my teeth have always been a little sensitive. I would avoid ice in my drinks, but other than that it wasn’t too much of a bother. When I moved to Meadville for college, I noticed my sensitivity got worse. Ice was absolutely out of the question and eating popsicles was a challenge. I knew things were serious when I walked outside one morning and my teeth hurt just from the cold air. I went to my dentist back home and he told me the health of my teeth was declining even though nothing had changed in my hygiene routine. I tried using toothpaste for sensitive teeth and drinking less pop but it didn’t seem to work. I couldn’t figure out what was happening to my teeth until about a week ago. That’s when a friend told me that there wasn’t fluoride in the Meadville water. Growing up in a city with fluoridated water, I was shocked to hear that there were places that didn’t fortify the water this way, but even more shocked to realize that it is why my dental health has declined since I started college.
If the non-fluoridated is water has affected my teeth in the four short years I’ve lived in Meadville, it is affecting the teeth of all its citizens. That includes the adults with dental pain who flood the ER of the Meadville Medical Center and the children of Crawford County who have more untreated cavities than other all the other kids in the Pennsylvania commonwealth. Fluoridated water seems like a minor amenity but without it hospitals are inconvenienced and people suffer. It would cost families less than $3.00 a year to fluoridate water. It would save our community a lot of headaches and a lot of toothaches.
– LaVerne Thompson
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