The Town Without a Toothache, Interesting History of Hereford
Hereford, Texas is a small town here in the Texas Panhandle. This town is full of rich history and lots of cows. Heck, it's even named after one.
Hereford, Texas the Town Without a Toothache
Yes, Hereford was known as the Town Without a Toothache. They even had it on a sign at the corner of Hwy 60 and Main Street. I remember this sign because we'd drive by it every time we drove out to my grandparents' house.
Now, why would a town of 15,000 and millions of cows not have to worry about toothaches? Well, that is because of the massive amount of natural fluoride that used to be found in the water in Hereford.
According to an article on The Portal to Texas History creator unknown:
A dentist in Hereford, Dr. G.W. Heard mentioned to Dr. Edward Taylor a member of the Texas State Health Department, that Hereford had a low occurrence of tooth decay. After some further research, Hereford was given the name, The Town Without a Toothache.
If you happened to grow up in Hereford before the 90s you will probably notice little brown spots on your teeth. Yep, that's from the fluoride in the water. I have some of those spots on my teeth, and it's not from a lack of dental hygiene, it's from the fluoride that was in the water.
Even the bone structures of the cows in Hereford at the time were different because of the water.
Growing up in Hereford, I knew about the fluoride in the water, but I never really knew the history behind how it was named The Town Without a Toothache.
Every time I go to a new dentist they always mention those dang spots and I, of course, get to use the line, "Yep, I'm from the town without a toothache."
Hereford was even featured in a Jeopardy question on April 3, 1995, under the U.S.A. Category for $300.
The answer obviously was: What is fluoride?
Sadly, the sign is no longer there and I'm guessing the natural fluoride levels diminished decades ago. However, according to a City of Hereford 2019 Drinking Water Quality Report, the water still contains 3.5 mg/L of fluoride and 2.92 mg/L in 2020. A historical marker still stands in Santa Fe Park.
The inscription reads:
Hereford's "miracle water" was brought to national fame in 1941 when Dr. Edward Taylor, State Dental Officer, told the American Dental Association that tooth decay was almost unknown here. This ideal situation had been discovered by a local dentist, Dr. George Heard, originally from Alabama. In a cross-section survey, dentists found that few local people had dental cavities. Hereford's mineral-rich water and soil are thought to prevent tooth decay. Demand arose for Hereford water to be shipped all over the U.S. and to foreign nations. (1967)
I guess Hereford will just have to fall back on the Beef Capital of the World status.