As a dentist, I read with interest the article "Stop rejecting science in favor of superstition." While the measles and other communicable diseases depend on individual vaccination of most of the group to achieve immunity and to keep the spread of the disease at bay, dental caries (decay) for the population served by community water systems can be prevented by the simple addition of a small amount of fluoride (one gallon per 1 million gallons of water) to the water supply.

Started at birth, the ingestion of treated drinking water will almost guarantee minimal lifetime dental decay.

Even the best defenses can be broken down by poor diet and hygiene, but the odds for prevention are so much in our favor that contrary discussion should be a non-starter.

The great experiment started in Grand Rapids nearly 75 years ago has left no doubt that fluoridated water prevents tooth decay. This is recognized as one of the best public health projects of all time.

Local city councils and the populace have in some instances abandoned fluoridation or failed to see its benefits because of "superstitions." We are in the 21st century. We should at least make use of 20th-century knowledge that protects from disease and suffering and saves untold dollars.

Yours for a healthier America,

Paul J. Butcher