Smiling at decision in Tyrone

We were glad to see Tyrone Borough Council vote Monday to keep fluoridating its water.

A proposal to stop the practice, which surfaced in March, garnered council’s support even though it was offered with limited information.

Now that the council members have had almost three months to weigh the pros and cons, they’ve taken another vote and agreed, by a 6-to-2 vote, that the practice of fluoridating water should continue.

As we noted in March, Tyrone has been fluoridating its water for about 20 years, a practice the Center for Disease Control calls one of the 10 great public health achievements in the 20th Century. And the benefits have not gone unnoticed.

Orthodontist Christopher Pine told council that of the 379 teeth he examined last week in the mouths of 15 Tyrone children, he found three small fillings.

Former Tyrone Area School District Principal Bradley Aults added his support for the practice, based on the small number of children who regularly see a dentist.

Pine and Aults were among the nearly two dozen people who filled council’s chambers and of spoke in favor of fluoridation. And they were among those raising their hands when Councilman Terry Richardson asked who was in favor of keeping fluoridation.

While the voices of those who care are important, we would like to think that Tyrone’s council members also did some more research since March and learned an important lesson about voting too quickly.

While fluoridation has its opponents, including two Tyrone leaders who voted no, we’re glad to see this borough hold onto a practice that’s a wise investment in community health.

Other municipalities – including Altoona – should embrace it as well.