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ADA NSW Media Release: Expert health bodies back fluoridation as safe

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Monday, 4 June 2018

The Australian Dental Association NSW is urging local residents who want access to the benefits of water fluoridation to email Oberon Council.

With the Council calling for public feedback on the fluoridation proposal by June 14, residents have just over a week to let their representatives know that they and their families want the protection against decay that fluoridation provides.

“The people of Oberon are missing out on the health advantages that fluoridated communities have had for decades,” ADA NSW President Dr Neil Peppitt said. “Having strong, healthy teeth as a child sets you up for a lifetime of good oral health, which is vital for good health overall.”

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in Australian children and adults, but is largely preventable. Children who suffer from dental decay are more likely to have oral health problems in later life. Research shows that water fluoridation can reduce tooth decay in children by as much as 44%.

In an open letter to Oberon Councillors, the chief executive of the National Health and Medical Research Council, Professor Anne Kelso, said NHMRC was “aware that some members of the community are raising concerns about health implications of water fluoridation”.

“NHMRC recently reviewed the scientific evidence that reported any health effects of water fluoridation and checked if they are relevant to Australia,” Professor Kelso wrote. “NHMRC found no reliable evidence that community water fluoridation at current Australian levels causes health problems.”

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, whose members include Australia’s medical specialists in child and paediatric health, also backs fluoridation, saying: “The Royal Australasian College of Physicians supports the use of public water fluoridation to improve the oral health of children and young people. As a public health measure, water fluoridation has a proven impact on dental health for children and preventing tooth decay and the evidence-base also demonstrates it is safe.”

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, dental health professionals treating Oberon patients confirm that children in Oberon have twice as much tooth decay as children in nearby fluoridated communities.

Water fluoridation is proven to significantly reduce tooth decay in children, adolescents and adults. ADA NSW recommends it be implemented and maintained in all communities where practical.

Dr Peppitt encouraged decision-makers to do everything in their power to improve the health of their communities.

“All the reliable evidence shows that water fluoridation in Australia is safe for our health and good for our teeth,” he said. “Claims that fluoride is harmful at the levels found in our drinking water are simply scaremongering, and are not supported by valid research. More than 150 health, medical and scientific organisations worldwide support water fluoridation, reflecting decades of solid evidence showing it is safe.”

ADA NSW urges residents to write to Oberon Council in support of fluoridation at council@oberon.nsw.gov.au.

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