- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 11, 2012

PORTLAND, ORE. (AP) - Portland is the largest city in the United States that has yet to approve fluoridation to combat tooth decay.

That is expected to change when the city council meets Wednesday. Mayor Sam Adams and two city commissioners have announced their support, ensuring a majority on the five-member panel.

Fluoridation has been an emotional topic in communities across the country for more than 50 years, and Portland is no exception.

A public hearing last week lasted more than six hours, with critics saying fluoridation is unsafe and violates an individual’s right to consent to medication.

Adams says fluoridation is a safe and effective way to help children born into families that can’t afford dentists or don’t stress dental health.