Kansas Dentist on Advocacy: “It was my obligation.”


Posted & filed underneath Youngsters’s Oral Well being and Fluoride, Communities Supporting Fluoride, Battle a Rollback Try.

On Monday, Might 13, town fee in Abilene, Kansas, voted to reinstate water fluoridation after having voted a couple of weeks earlier to finish the apply. The turnaround didn’t occur by itself. Native well being professionals, spearheaded by Dr. Beatrice Brittan — an Abilene dentist — performed a pivotal position within the fee’s choice to reverse itself. On this weblog article, Dr. Brittan explains what motivated her to get entangled.

As an expert, a part of our duty is to step up and lead these in our neighborhood when issues of dental public well being come up. All of us took the required public well being programs in dental college. All of us most likely anticipated to be “the face” of our personal dental places of work. I knew I’d be “placing myself on the market” when taking on a brand new apply, however by no means did I think about I’d be the face of a motion to safeguard a public well being service that has been in place in my hometown for 3 many years. Examine after research exhibits that kids and adults who drink fluoridated water have stronger enamel which are much less prone to decay.

When our metropolis fee voted to cease our water fluoridation, I knew I had no alternative however to advocate for its return. It was my obligation. What sort of dental skilled would I be if I had achieved nothing? I wouldn’t belief a dentist who didn’t get personally concerned in advocating for such a vital matter of public well being in their very own hometown.

Our main hurdle was a scarcity of schooling and understanding. I had plenty of assist from my state dental affiliation and dental advocacy teams. There are such a lot of extra pro-fluoridation advocates on the market than anti-fluoridation conspiracy theorists. I took on the burden of talking publicly and privately to those that might make a change, encouraging fellow well being professionals on the town to supply their very own advisement, and organizing a response to our metropolis fee’s choice.

We have been capable of have the vote overturned. It was exhausting work, however the well being of my apply and my particular person sufferers is best off for it. I’m a greater dental supplier for having achieved this sort of advocacy work and the quantity of people that have personally approached me with honest gratitude has additional cemented my perception that this was the fitting battle to tackle.


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