Twice in my life I have had large wooden splinters pierce my feet.
The first time I was still in school and was sliding around on a hard wood floor when a piece of wood went through my big toe.
Yes, it hurt.
Mom used a pair of pliers and was able to extract the foreign object with one pull.
The second time I was not so lucky.
Clowning around on my deck several years ago, a splinter went into the heel of my foot. I tugged and I dug but couldn’t get all of wood out. The doctor said he could cut my heel open and dig out the foreign material but it would probably come out by itself in time.
And, in time, it did. However, in the meantime it was like walking on a toothpick. This splinter hurt daily, gave off an odor, was extremely inflamed and bled enough to require a Band-Aid.
Why does this come to mind now? Having a piece of wood in the foot is how one dentist described a bad tooth, only it doesn’t one day just pop out.
Scientific studies, and I am not going to bore you with details, have linked dental infections with strokes even heart attacks.
As school starts, teachers will tell you that students with a cavity can’t concentrate. It’s like having a piece of wood in their foot.
So, why is it that more people aren’t concerned that Abilene has stopped adding small amounts of fluoride to the water?
Last June the Reflector-Chronicle published the story that an employee safety issue was at the center of a decision to stop putting fluoride in Abilene’s water LAST APRIL!
City Manager David Dillner said the emergency safety switch in the fluoride room at the water treatment plant had become corroded, making it nonfunctional. If a problem were to arise while an employee was preparing the fluoride, the employee would use that switch to alert other plant workers that they were in distress or that there was a problem.
Cost to fix the problem was under $10,000.
The initial report caused the ears to rise from some of the anti-fluoride people but has yet to draw a spark from parents who should be concerned about the teeth of their children.
While there are movements to prevent adding fluoride in water, there is not really a health risk. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers fluoridation of water one of the greatest achievements in public health in the 20th century.
The “antis” will claim the risk of dental fluorosis but it would take an extreme amount of fluoride to cause this discoloring of teeth.
Here is what the dentists say:
“Water fluoridation is the single most effective, practical and safe means of reducing and controlling the amount and severity of dental decay in a community. It is not just children who suffer dental decay; adults will continue to lose more teeth and suffer from poorer oral health if fluoride is removed.”
Give it some thought, people.
Speaking from personal experience, taking a spelling test in school would be hard enough without being distracted by a “piece of wood in my foot.”