Opponents of fluoride are celebrating a win. Fifty-nine percent of Wichitans voted against fluoridation, while 40% voted yes.
During a Wednesday morning press conference, spokesman for the group Wichitans Opposed to Fluoride, Jonathan Hall said they want pro-fluoride groups to improve access to dental care for children.
"We challenge these groups who have offered grants to pay for fluoridation start-up costs to use that money for dental care for low-income children," Hall said.
When asked if they expect the idea to fluoridate the water to come up again, Hall said the trend nationally is against fluoridation - but he suspects it will come up again eventually.
The issue failed in Wichita despite efforts by hundreds of dentists and physicians supporting fluoridation. Wichita is one of the biggest cities in the nation to not fluoridate.
The group, Wichitans for Healthy Teeth, helped get the issue on the ballot. "To the people of Wichita I'm sorry. We, I didn't work hard enough to this initiative passed for you," says Dr. Lucynda Raben with Wichitans for Healthy Teeth.
Although polls showed a lot of support for fluoridation early on, that support was lost as the election neared. Dr. Raben says she and other medical professionals will continue to focus on education.