Elections: Palm Harbor Dentists Smiling About Fluoride's Future In Pinellas County

Dr. Johnny Johnson and Dr. Oscar Menendez used tooth costumes, a billboard and the Internet to let people know they wanted voters to get rid of commissioners who removed fluoride from the county's water. Their strategy worked.

Two Palm Harbor dentists' goal of getting fluoride back into Pinellas County's drinking water appears to be one step closer to becoming a reality.

Pediatric dentist Dr. Johnny Johnson spent most of Election Day wearing a tooth costume at an East Lake polling location, hoping to convince people to vote Pinellas County Commissioners Nancy Bostock and Neil Brickfield out of office because the pair oppose having fluoride in drinking water and voted to have it removed.

Prior to the election, Dr. Oscar Menendez paid for a billboard on U.S. 19 that also called for change. "Want Fluoride? Good Leadership? ELECT Janet Long & Charlie Justice for County Commissioner," it said.

Voters apparently agree with the dentists. Brickfield and Bostock were voted out of office Tuesday. Their successors, Janet Long and Charlie Justice, both support putting fluoride back in drinking water.

"Our whole agenda was to reverse the tragic mistake in removing fluoride," Menendez told Patch after the election. 

"It was poor leadership on commissioners' part by dismissing all reasonable thoughts and science. So they paid for it. ... My reaction was absolute joy. The most important thing was the people came together and expressed their view," he said.

"We're not happy that two people lost their jobs. But, we're happy residents will have the benefits of water fluoridation," said Johnson, who lives in East Lake and has his dental practice in Palm Harbor.

Johnson says this was the first time he has become politically active. The website for his dental practice also urged voters to elect Long and Justice with the following message:

Credible scientific studies show that water fluoridation reduces cavities by 25 percent above and beyond the effects of fluoridated toothpaste, rinses and varnishes. Scientific evidence provided for the commissioners shows the many ways fluoride benefits children and adults alike. On a community level, the neediest of this protection, those living at poverty or well below the poverty levels, will suffer from this decision.- Dr. Johnny Johnson's website

Do you support fluoride being added to drinking water? Post a comment below and share your thoughts.


  • Palm Harbor Dentist Hopes Giant Tooth Will Convince Voters 
  • Palm Harbor Dentist's Billboard Supports Fluoride in Water Supply
Concerned November 08, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Sorry I absolutely do not support flouride in the water. It is just one more way the government is taking away our choices. It is a chemical in the water that you swallow. When you go to the dentist you had to spit the flouride out so how can this be safe? And how do they know how much water an individual drinks and what if you have someone with a comprised immune system or an infant child that drinks the water. How can they determine what is safe for all?? Even if they could prove it completely safe (which they CANNOT) why is it not a choice? Wake up America we can't let the governement keep making our choices for us. I used to take my son to Dr. Johnson but def will never again. I will be running a campaign against them the way they did over these commissioners over one issue.
Anthony V November 08, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Fluoride is a toxic by product of aluminum waste and yet our dentists highly recommend using it because it may prevent cavities from all of the junk foods that kids eat. Dentists and toothpaste manufacturers are being paid by aluminum companies to dispose of their waste by putting them in tooth care products. fluoride absorbs aluminum and goes straight to the brain, which is what all Alzheimer patients have in common.I really hope Pinellas does not get this back in our water.
Tooth Truth November 08, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Fluoridation is a 20th Century adaptation to a naturally occurring process. Oral disease takes a multipronged approach to control just as Type 1 diabetes requires not only insulin, but also excercise and a good diet. All public health leaders and dentists know that it takes 3 things to insure good oral health: education, prevention, and access to care. Fluoridation is the FOUNDATION of a strategic, dental public health policy. In a perfect world we wouldn't need fluoridation. We do not live in that world.
Shannon Livingston November 08, 2012 at 05:03 PM
UGH......I could write a book here on why fluoride in our water supply is a very bad idea but just understand.....FLUORIDE IS TOXIC...PERIOD!!! This will be met with great opposition!!!!
Joe Bavlsik November 08, 2012 at 05:23 PM
The jury is in: fluoride in our water supply reduces tooth decay. I'm sure many decrying this fact are among the last who would want to be "burdened" by the cost of treatment required to treat the increased occurrence of tooth decay because of the regressive action recently taken. I guess their thought is, "you're on your own"!
Mica Marsh November 08, 2012 at 06:16 PM
It is nice to hear there are folks out there that do not believe the big "fluoride is a good thing" lie. How much money are these dentists making off supporting the poisoning of our water? Power to the people - educate those in your sphere of influence with THE FACTS - fight back. If the people that think it's a good thing to be poisoned like this, I would challenge them to look at where they are getting their information....
Peggy Thatcher November 08, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Safety and public health measures are routine issues for government: e.g. laws on drunk driving, vaccination, restaurant hygiene, seat belts. Fluoridation is just adding a few more fluoride ions to water. No big deal. Fluoridation has been demonstrated safe, with over 65 years of research and some 3,700 research paper...plus systematic reviews. The fluoride treatments in the dentist office have a high concentration of this mineral nutrient; that's why you spit it out. It's safe. Enjoy the lowered dental bills.
Concerned November 09, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Are you serious?? You want to compare putting flouride in the water that everyone HAS to bathe in and drink is the same as drunk driving or seat belts? Do some research on flouride and you will find out it is not safe. Why is it banned in Europe and so many other places? And why can people not just choose to buy fluorinated water if they want it - why should we have to have it? If the dentists are so worried tell Dr. Johnson who charges 3X more than any other dentist to have a free clinic day and give out some free flouride to those that want it. And you say that the dentist office has a higher concentration of fluoride so you have to spit it out, but what if you drink 10X more glasses of water everyday than everyone else? How can you determine the safe limit if we are told to spit it out in the dentist.
Concerned November 09, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Perfect, but go to the dentist and get fluoride. So you are saying we should put insulin in our water as well? It is a CHOICE to take care of your health and your teeth not the governements.
Colin Bishop November 09, 2012 at 02:48 AM
So a "good leader" is someone who supports fluoride, therefore a "bad leader" is someone that does not support fluoridation? Definitely a dentist statement - a stupid dentist at that! Now Dr. Johnny Johnson, would you please post on this site the scientific evidence (not the ADA lies) that show water fluoridation reduces cavities percent above and beyond the effects of fluoridated toothpaste, rinses and varnishes.etc.Could you also show us what the effect is of ingesting additional silicofluorides through nearly all of our food and drink and medications etc - or does ingested silicofluoride from foods and sodas have absolutely no effect?
Chuck Halterman November 15, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Fluoride is a poison, but so is sodium chloride, i. e. table salt. Centuries ago, ocean sailers drank sea water and died. The recommended fluoride concentration in drinking water is 0.7 part per million. As a dentist, I make sure that my 6 children and 6 grandchildren get the recommended amount of fluoride.


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