Fluoridation of drinking water: a must for people in rural and remote areas

28 January 2014
Fluoridation of drinking water: a must for people in rural and remote areas

Fluoridation of drinking water is regarded by public health experts as the most cost-effective health promotion intervention available in a wealthy country like Australia.

Yet millions of Australians do not have ready access to fluoridated drinking water. In rural and remote areas special measures are justified to fix this.

Over 3 million people in Australia live in places smaller than 10,000 people, with about 700,000 in communities of less than 1,000 people. Adding fluoride to reticulated water is an expensive matter for small local authorities in areas such as these.

The Alliance supports the Australian Dental Association's guidelines which state that while fluoridation of community water supplies is the preferred method of fluoridation, fluoride supplements can be used to promote reduction in dental caries for people living in areas that are not optimally fluoridated. The Commonwealth Government should consider appropriate fluoridation methods for non-reticulated drinking water. The World Health Organisation has proposed a range of measures for this.

The Alliance believes the Commonwealth Government should encourage and assist local Councils to do the right thing for the oral and dental health of people in smaller communities. Those people with most to gain are infants and children. With effective national leadership on fluoridation, the basis can be laid for the next generation of adults to have better dental health than their parents.

In 2010-11 there were over 60,000 preventable hospitalisations related to dental conditions, with children between the ages of five and nine having the highest number of hospital stays for such conditions. Many of these can be prevented for the next generation through the fluoridation of drinking water.

The Alliance also encourages Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to be brave and imaginative in promoting a scientific understanding of the benefits of fluoride.

Media Enquiries: 

Tim Kelly, Chairperson 0438 011 383
Gordon Gregory, Executive Director 02 6285 4660


I am disappointed by the unquestioning support apparently given by the Alliance to fluoridation. As a long-term campaigner against it in New Zealand and now a Queensland resident I find the ignoring of all the evidence against fluoridation to be a completely unbalanced approach.
There is massive evidence easily accessible on the Internet - or in such books as Christopher Bryson's "The Fluoride Deception".
Then, of course, there is the matter of enforced mass medication via water supplies - not what one expects in a free country!
I urge the Alliance to re-consider their support of this agenda.
Yours sincerely,
David Tranter
Health Spokesman,
New Zealand Democrat Political Party.

The stats that 60,000 (with kids highly represented) have me incredulous : please produce stats along with socio-economic background stats of each age group, availability of easy affordable access to dentist for a minimum of once yearly checkup; lifestyle choices of those in stats ie drug, alcohol use, amount of processed food , soft drinks, cordials and fruit juice in daily diet, daily oral hygiene regime. Then we can truly assess the causes of oral heath related issues.
Common sense suggests that water fluoridation is not a magic wand fix that will not prevent cavities and bad teeth if lifestyle choices negatively affect the health of teeth and gums.

Fluoride in water is the most studied health proposal to date, it is safe and it is effective at reducing caries in teeth and we can see the difference clearly between states like NSW vs QLD, the latter of which only added fluoride to their water in 2008. Spouting propaganda based on internet searches and a book is irresponsible. I'm sorry to hear you have remained unconvinced by the science, dental health is extremely important, tooth structure does not grow back and poor dental health can impact multiple bodily systems. Here's to hoping Australia can get fluoride to their rural communities too!

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