Dentists in Portland, Ore., may have to adjust their revenue projections.
The Oregon city that always wants to be a little, well, weird voted last week to add fluoride to its drinking water. It had been the largest naysayer in the national debate about whether cities should fluoridate water as a way to prevent tooth decay, especially in low-income children. It's not just an issue within the Portland city limits, however. While 73% of the U.S. population drinks water treated with fluoride, the rate is less than 25% in Oregon.
Opponents of the measure had wanted the government to stay out of their faucets—arguing that fluoride is potentially unsafe and adding it to the water forces individuals to take a medication without their consent. Voters had already shot down the measure twice before approving it in 1978, but that plan was overturned before any fluoride made it into the water.