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ADA welcomes news that Qld will fluoridate water supplies

21 December, 2007

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) welcomes Premier Bligh’s announcement that the Government would tackle the poor condition of Queensland’s oral health by introducing fluoride into the State’s water supplies.

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) welcomes Premier Bligh's announcement that the Government would tackle the poor condition of Queensland's oral health by introducing fluoride into the State's water supplies.

The move will bring Queensland into line with all other States and Territories. Currently, less than 5% of Queenslanders have had access to fluoridated public water. Within two years, 80% of Queenslanders will be drinking fluoridated water, growing to more than 90% in 2012.

Dr. John Matthews, president of the ADA, said: "Clear solid scientific evidence exists that water fluoridation has proven to be an efficient, effective and an equitable public health measure for reducing the prevalence of dental decay in all groups."

Children in Townsville, one of the few Queensland towns to begin fluoridation (in 1964), have 45% less tooth decay than their counterpats in Brisbane, a city of nearly 1.8 million people that have no fluoride in its public water.

"Tooth deca has ranked as one of Queensland's most expensve health problems and whilst fluoride will benefit all Queenslanders immediately - children and future generations will be the real winners," Dr. Matthews said.

"Research shows that tooth decay in children in this state is higher than the national average - six year olds have 30% more decay in their baby teeth, with a similar result for permanent teeth in 12 year olds. Fluoridation will turn this around and deliver better oral health for Queensland."

The ADA has been a strong advocate of water fluoridation along with other highly reputable and respected international and Australian health, research and education organisations.

Although fluoridation has been subject to debate lately there has been no convincing or cedible scientific evidence exists that fluoride when supplied at the optimum level (1 part per million) in drinkng water causes any adverse health effects.

Dr. Matthews expressed his appreciation and thanked all the dentists for their support in the pro-fluoride campaign and to the State Government of Queensland for recognising the fluoridation of public water supplies as a significant publich health initiative in Australia.

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