Fluoride prevents cavities and tooth decay, something confirmed by numerous studies, yet a small but vocal minority has gotten dozens of cities to remove the naturally occurring compound from the water supply, NBC News reported.
"Anti-fluoridationists" blame fluoride for lower IQs and diseases, despite long-established science. The American Dental Association says that 74 cities have voted to remove fluoride from their drinking water in the last five years, and proposed bans are on the ballot in two more cities this November.
"You cannot tailor public health to the whims of a small group of people," said Dr. Johnny Johnson, a retired pediatric dentist who leads the nonprofit American Fluoridation Society. "If you are doing that, you are harming a large group of people."
While nearly 75 percent of the United States gets fluoridated water, more than 80 percent of New Jersey residents do not, and the Texas Republican Party now opposes water fluoridation as well.