It ended, five decades later, as a scientific revolution that shot dentistry into the forefront of preventive medicine. This is the story of how dental science discovered-and ultimately proved to the world-that fluoride, a mineral found in rocks and soil, prevents tooth decay.
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Although dental caries remains a public health worry, it is no longer the unbridled problem it once was, thanks to fluoride. In Dr. Green Vardiman Black l , one of the nation's most eminent dental researchers, to attend convention where McKay's findings were to be presented. The two men began joint research and discovered other areas of the country where brown staining of teeth occurred.
Fluoride research had its beginnings in , when a young dental school graduate named Frederick McKay left the East Coast to open a dental practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado. When he arrived, McKay was astounded to find scores of Colorado Springs natives with grotesque brown stains on their teeth. So severe could these permanent stains be, in fact, sometimes entire teeth were splotched the color of chocolate candy. McKay searched in vain for information on this bizarre disorder. He found no mention of the brown-stained teeth in any of the dental literature of the day.
Local residents blamed the problem on any number of strange factors, such as eating too much pork, consuming inferior milk, and drinking calcium-rich water. Thus, McKay took up the gauntlet and initiated research into the disorder himself. His first epidemiological investigations were scuttled by a lack of interest among most area dentists. But McKay persevered and ultimately interested local practitioners in the problem, which was known as Colorado Brown Stain. McKay's first big break came in , when renowned dental researcher Dr. Black agreed to come to Colorado Springs and collaborate with him on the mysterious ailment.
Black, who had previously scoffed that it was impossible such a disorder could go unreported in the dental literature, was lured West shortly after the Colorado Springs Dental Society conducted a study showing that almost 90 percent of the city's locally born children had signs of the brown stains.
When Black arrived in the city, he too was shocked by the prevalence of Colorado Brown Stain in the mouths of native-born residents. He would write later:. I found it prominent in every group of children. One does not have to search for it, for it is continually forcing itself on the attention of the stranger by its persistent prominence.
This is much more than a deformity of childhood. If it were only that, it would be of less consequence, but it is a deformity for life. Black investigated fluorosis for six years, until his death in During that period, he and McKay made two crucial discoveries. First, they showed that mottled enamel as Black referred to the condition resulted from developmental imperfections in children's teeth. This finding meant that city residents whose permanent teeth had calcified without developing the stains did not risk having their teeth turn brown; young children waiting for their secondary set of teeth to erupt, however, were at high risk.
Second, they found that teeth afflicted by Colorado Brown Stain were surprisingly and inexplicably resistant to decay. The two researchers were still a long way from determining the cause of Colorado Brown Stain, but McKay had a theory tucked away in the back of his head.
Maybe there was, as some local residents suggested, an ingredient in the water supply that mottled the teeth? Black was skeptical; McKay, though, was intrigued by this theory's prospects. The water-causation theory got a gigantic boost in That year, McKay trekked across the Rocky Mountains to Oakley, Idaho to meet with parents who had noticed peculiar brown stains on their children's teeth. The parents told McKay that the stains began appearing shortly after Oakley constructed a communal water pipeline to a warm spring five miles away.
McKay analyzed the water, but found nothing suspicious in it. Nonetheless, he advised town leaders to abandon the pipeline altogether and use another nearby spring as a water source. McKay's advice did the trick.
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Within a few years, the younger children of Oakley were sprouting healthy secondary teeth without any mottling. McKay now had his confirmation, but he still had no idea what could be wrong with the water in Oakley, Colorado Springs, and other afflicted areas. The answer came when McKay and Dr.
The two discovered something very interesting: namely, the mottled enamel disorder was prevalent among the children of Bauxite, but nonexistent in another town only five miles away.
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Again, McKay analyzed the Bauxite water supply. Again, the analysis provided no clues. But the researchers' work was not done in vain.
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Churchill, at company headquarters in Pennsylvania. Churchill, who had spent the past few years refuting claims that aluminum cookware was poisonous, worried that this report might provide fresh fodder for ALCOA's detractors. Nor was migration to the New World popular in France or Britain. Adventurers, explorers and particularly traders acting for British or French interests feared the interference of settlers in the lucrative trade see Fur Trade.
However, policy eventually changed and colonial authorities carefully and slowly encouraged settlement in Canada. It was their hope that settlers would guarantee the sovereignty of colonial land claims, Christianize Aboriginal peoples and exploit natural resources often on behalf of European investors.
Settlements grew gradually and not without difficulty. New France 's population at the time of the British Conquest —60 was about 65, In Nova Scotia, a transplanted Scottish community was supplemented by German and Swiss settlers, and in the late s Irish settlers reinforced Newfoundland's population.
Although the British victory brought an end to migration from France, it did not instigate a tide of English-speaking immigrants. Except for a handful of British administrators, military personnel and merchants who filled the vacuum left by their departing French counterparts, few English-speaking settlers seemed interested in Canada. Indeed, it is doubtful whether settlers would have been welcomed by the new British administrators, who feared that an influx of English-speaking, Protestant settlers would complicate administration in a recently conquered Roman Catholic , French-speaking territory.
Most British immigrants were far more inclined to seek out the more temperate climate and familiar social institutions of the British colonies to the south. Known as United Empire Loyalists , they were largely political refugees. Many of them migrated northward not by choice but by default, either because they did not wish to become citizens of the new American republic or because they feared retribution for their public support of the British.
For these Loyalists, who eventually formed the core of the colony's ruling oligarchies, Canada was a land of second choice, as it would be for countless future immigrants who came because to remain at home was undesirable, and entry elsewhere, often the US, was restricted. The Loyalist migration was neither uncontrolled nor unassisted, however.
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Imperial authorities and military personnel offered supplies to the new settlers and organized the distribution of land. Despite the hardships the settlers endured, their plight was undeniably made less severe by the intervention of government agents, a practice to be repeated in Canada many times.
Throughout the midth century, the colonies — Canada West in particular — returned to a pattern of painfully slow and erratic economic growth. Officially encouraged immigration from England , Scotland and even the US gradually filled the better agricultural lands in the colony and bolstered new commercial or administrative towns. The new immigrants were generally similar to that of the established community. But the great Irish potato famine and to a lesser degree a series of abortive European rebellions in sent new waves of immigrants to North America. Of these tens of thousands, many were Irish settlers, whose arrival in Canada initiated major social and economic changes.
In many respects the Irish were Canada's first enormous wave of foreign immigrants. Although they generally spoke English, they did not mirror the social, cultural or religious values of the majority. Roman Catholic intruders in a Protestant domain, their loyalty to the Crown appeared suspect in a Canada where ardent loyalty was demanded as insurance against the threat of American republicanism.
Furthermore, after escaping a life in which farm tenancy and capricious nature made agriculture synonymous with poverty and dependency, some of the famine-stricken Irish had little or no enthusiasm for farm life see History of Agriculture. Canadian cities and larger towns quickly developed Irish sections or wards. The Anglo-Protestant majority measured the Irish contribution economically and the Irish deficiencies socially, religiously and racially.
On the one hand, many of the Irish created a labour force ready and able to fill the seasonal employment demands of a newly expanded canal system, lumber industry and burgeoning railway network ; on the other hand, because of their low income, their Catholicism, the seasonal separation from their families and differences in their way of life, they were a visible minority group.