I went to the dentist on Saturday, and after the ritual inspect, scale, clean and brushing advice (for myself and the kids), I was chatting to him about how things had changed in the last generation. I mentioned that by the time I was 10, I had about 10 fillings, a stark contrast to Isaac (with one) and Jeremy (with none). He said that dental care had improved, as had education about brushing, but that he reckoned the main factor was fluoride in the water; that this more than anything else had led to healthier teeth for children.
Apparently even in this day and age, fluoride in the water is is common in Australia and North America, but not elsewhere. Despite the controversy (including some wacky conspiracy theories such as the view that the Masons are doing it for their own purposes), there seems to be general agreement from medical professionals that it’s a good thing.
Mind you, I have a vague feeling that the dentist I used to see as a kid was rather too keen on expensive cars.