The Australian Dental Association Inc. (ADA) is outraged and dismayed at governments’ lack of leadership to support the well-established scientific evidence that proves fluoridation of water supplies is safe. “The Queensland and now other State Governments’ decision to permit ill-informed Local Councils to choose to stop fluoridation of water supplies represent a failure to protect the public’s oral health. These Local Councils seem to be responding to fringe groups’ falsely based scare mongering and are not considering the scientifically well-established benefits of fluoridation,” ADA Federal President Dr Karin Alexander said.
“World Health Authorities, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the Australian Dental Association and the Australian Medical Association, to name a few, all recognise the significant benefits that occur in dental health when fluoridation of water supplies occurs. Despite this, the State Governments’ capitulation to the irrational fears of a minority and failure to educate the public will only provide a temporary false sense of reassurance. The public’s health and the public purse will ultimately have to pay for this decision, when levels of dental disease and dental decay starts to massively increase.”
Fluoridation is proven to reduce dental decay by making teeth less susceptible to the acids formed by micro-organisms living on and around the teeth. Fluoride can also assist in reversing the process of decay once it has commenced.
In 2007 the leading Australian consumer organisation Choice, carried out an independent review of water fluoridation and concluded that “There’s now solid scientific evidence that fluoride added to drinking water helps to protect your teeth from decay. It added that claims of those that oppose fluoridation are often based on out-dated information, questionable research and selectively picking studies that support their case.”
Only three chemicals can be used for water fluoridation in Australia: sodium fluoride, sodium fluorosilicate and fluorosilicic acid. All three dissolve in water and break down completely into fluoride ions and other small particles identical to those already in the water. None of the original chemical is left.
“We have a federal government wanting to deliver a plan that provides dental care to under 18-year-olds, commencing in 2014. Any benefit that scheme will have on childrens’ teeth will be seriously undermined by withdrawal of water fluoridation.
“If the Australian Government wants this new scheme to have a positive impact and if State Governments want their already under-resourced public sector dental sector to be effective, then they must step in to ensure water fluoridation is maintained where it is in place and implemented where possible in the rest of the country,” Dr Alexander concluded.
(Source: Australian Dental Association Inc.)
For more information on dental health in children, including teething, hygiene and nutrition for good teeth, as well as the importance of dental check-ups, see Dental Health in Children.