Pulaski (WSYR-TV) -- Starting Friday, the drinking water in the Village of Pulaski will no longer be fluoridated. Last month, the Water Board voted to remove the additive from their water supply because of pipe corrosion concerns.
Fluoride is known to help fight tooth decay. One dentist fears the change will have a negative impact on some families.
It’s colorless and odorless, but every time you drink fluoridated water from the tap or use it to brush your teeth, Dr. William Buckley says it’s helping your teeth.
“Fluoride gets incorporated into the tooth and it makes it harder for the tooth to dissolve, so that when there's acid and plaque from people eating sugar, which we all do, it helps protect against that attack,” Dr. Buckley said.
Last month, the Pulaski Water Board decided to stop adding fluoride, after it had been doing so for the last seven years. The mayor says they believe fluoride is corroding the pipes to the villages aging water system and coming up with money to replace it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars that they just don’t have.
“It takes large amounts of money. We tried to get money from the state, from the
Federal government, with no luck to help with our water system. So at this point, we have to err on the side of caution,” said Pulaski Mayor Karl Hax.
While there’s been studies that show fluoride does and does not cause corrosion, there’s also the issue of whether or not fluoride is harmful to the body.
"There's also people that says it has a negative effect on the body and other people say it doesn't have a negative effect on the body. There's been studies done on both sides,” Hax continued.
Either way, Dr. Buckley says taking fluoride out of the village’s water will hurt families, especially those that are medically under-served.
“Working poor people who don't have access to care, who may not be able to get a prescription for fluoride for their kids, who may not be able to afford a prescription if they get it,” Dr. Buckley explained.
Some Central New York schools have their own fluoride program. The superintendent says Pulaski is not one of them. While the State Health Department supports fluoridation, it’s not mandated and is up to each municipality.