That year, Mc Kay trekked across the Rocky Mountains to Oakley, Idaho to meet with parents who had noticed peculiar brown stains on their children's teeth.
After several days, the assistant reported a surprising piece of news: the town's water had high levels of fluoride. "Whoever heard of fluorides in water," he bellowed at his assistant. Rush another specimen." Shortly thereafter, a new specimen arrived in the laboratory.
Churchill's assistant conducted another assay on the Bauxite water. Photospectrographic analysis, again, showed that the town's water had high levels of fluoride tainting it.
The two researchers were still a long way from determining the cause of Colorado Brown Stain, but Mc Kay 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?
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.
Although dental caries remains a public health worry, it is no longer the unbridled problem it once was, thanks to fluoride. Mc Kay (r) persuaded the Colorado State Dental Association to invite Dr.Mc Kay 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. Within a few years, the younger children of Oakley were sprouting healthy secondary teeth without any mottling. Mc Kay and Kempf published a report on their findings that reached the desk of ALCOA's chief chemist, H. 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.Black was skeptical; Mc Kay, though, was intrigued by this theory's prospects.The water-causation theory got a gigantic boost in 1923.We trust that we have awakened your interest in this subject and that we may cooperate in an attempt to discover what part 'fluorine' may play in the matter." Mc Kay collected the samples.