The Task Is a Political One: The Promotion of Fluoridation

Gretchen Ann Reilly

in Silent Victories

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780195150698
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865185 | DOI:
 The Task Is a Political One: The Promotion of Fluoridation

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In the first fifty years of efforts to fluoridate community water supplies in the United States, profluoridationists in many cities found their efforts thwarted by a vocal opposition able to convince local elected officials and voters to reject fluoridation. The antifluoridation movement was a coalition of various groups and individuals whose objections to fluoridation ranged widely. Some questioned the scientific evidence supporting fluoridation, but often their arguments extended beyond the realm of scientific debate to include sweeping philosophical and social concerns. Initially, profluoridationists focused on promoting fluoridation in much the same way that as they would other standard public health campaigns. In the face of continuing failures, however, their tactics evolved over time to include more directly political approaches.

Keywords: dental health; fluoride; dental caries; political activism; American Dental Association; Cold War

Chapter.  8963 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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