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Silent VictoriesThe History and Practice of Public Health in Twentieth Century America$
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John W. Ward and Christian Warren

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195150698

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195150698.001.0001

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The Task Is a Political One: The Promotion of Fluoridation

The Task Is a Political One: The Promotion of Fluoridation

(p.323) 15 The Task Is a Political One: The Promotion of Fluoridation
Silent Victories

Gretchen Ann Reilly

Oxford University Press

In the first fifty years of efforts to fluoridate community water supplies in the United States, profluoridationists in many cities found their efforts thwarted by a vocal opposition able to convince local elected officials and voters to reject fluoridation. The antifluoridation movement was a coalition of various groups and individuals whose objections to fluoridation ranged widely. Some questioned the scientific evidence supporting fluoridation, but often their arguments extended beyond the realm of scientific debate to include sweeping philosophical and social concerns. Initially, profluoridationists focused on promoting fluoridation in much the same way that as they would other standard public health campaigns. In the face of continuing failures, however, their tactics evolved over time to include more directly political approaches.

Keywords:   dental health, fluoride, dental caries, political activism, American Dental Association, Cold War

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