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Queenslanders deserve to enjoy benefits of water fluoridation

26 February, 2008

The Australian Dental Association (Queensland Branch) (ADAQ), the voice of dentistry in Queensland, fully supports Premier Anna Bligh’s decision to fluoridate Queensland’s water supply, submitting recently over 25,000 signatures to Parliament in support.

Town water supply fluoridation at the optimal level of 0.6-1.1ppm is safe, effective and economical.

“Research clearly demonstrates that children in Queensland have a significantly higher rate of tooth decay than the national average,” said ADAQ President Dr John Wills. “Fluoride will turn this around.”

“For decades now Queenslanders have been denied fluoridation whilst the rest of Australia has enjoyed its benefits.

“It is encouraging to see Premier Anna Bligh tackle the political factors that have left most Queenslanders without fluoridated water.”

Children in Townsville, one of the few Queensland towns to begin fluoridation (in 1964), have 45% less tooth decay than their counterparts in Brisbane.

Whilst fluoride will benefit all Queenslanders immediately, children and future generations will be the greatest winners as we see the benefits take effect long term.

Tooth decay ranks as one of Queensland’s most expensive health problems with waiting lists of up to five years in public dental health facilities. Water fluoridation will help tackle this problem.

“We commend Premier Anna Bligh for governing in the health interests of the vast majority of Queenslanders who support this decision,” said Dr Wills.

“ADAQ has lobbied for over 50 years for this outcome. Queenslanders have the right to enjoy the health benefits of fluoridation.

“The small minority who oppose fluoridated water for their own reasons can choose to use reverse osmosis filters, or bottled water, if they prefer.”

Fluoride reduces 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 early decay once it has commenced.

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