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Fighting for fluoridation in Oberon

Fighting for fluoridation in Oberon


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ADA NSW Members Dr Patrick Bowman (2nd Year Graduate) and Will Fitzpatrick (Student)

There was a strong turnout from ADA NSW members this month, when the proposal to fluoridate the town water supply in Oberon was discussed at community meetings.

Oberon does not have a full-time dentist, so many local patients travel to Bathurst and Lithgow for dental treatment – and ADA NSW members went to Oberon and O'Connell to advocate on their behalf. They spoke about the higher rates of decay in communities without water fluoridation and the lifelong impacts that poor oral health in childhood can have.

Dr Theresa Cook, Dr Patrick Bowman and Dr Mark Cordato from Bathurst addressed the Oberon meeting, as did Dr Heather Cameron, Clinical Director of Charles Sturt University’s Dental and Oral Health Clinics, and Dr John Giblin. Will Fitzpatrick – an Oberon local and a final year dental student at CSU – told the crowd he had seen first-hand his family and friends experience tooth loss, tooth decay and pain. “For children this is especially upsetting,” he said. “Many within our community present to the dentist not for routine checkups, but instead are subjected to fillings and extractions. Imagine if we could prevent this traumatic experience from needing to occur in the first place.” Dr Nigel Swan and Dr Cook attended the O'Connell meeting to provide evidence-based information to the community. 

ADA NSW’s Head of Communications and Public Affairs, Kate Miranda, told the meeting about the extensive evidence supporting fluoridation as a safe, effective way to reduce dental caries. The meeting received extensive media coverage, with stories from the ABC, Sydney Morning Herald, Nine and Prime TV News. The SMH story was the most-read article of the day, attracting hundreds of comments online. 

While in Oberon the ADA team, supported by local dentists, took the opportunity to visit a local childcare centre and primary school to speak to the children about caring for their teeth.


Media Coverage

The painful consequences of not putting fluoride in the water
News.com.au 23 May 2018

Two towns are 48kms apart. One has twice as much tooth decay
SMH 22 May 2018

Residents divided on introducing fluoride into water system
9 News 22 May 2018

To fluoride or not to fluoride?
ABC Central West 22 May 2018

Fluoride debate
Prime7 News Central West 22 May 2018

The evidence shows water fluoridation is safe
ADA NSW Media Release 21 May 2018

Dr Theresa Cook tells 2GB's Ben Fordham that water fluoridation would help the children of Oberon
2GB 25 May 2018