Fluoride on the agenda

Headshot of Michael Philipps
Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times

Dentists in Eaton and Australind have praised an announcement from the Department of Health that fluoride will be added to the public water supply for the area in mid 2020.

According to the department, residents of Burekup, Brunswick Junction, Pelican Point, Picton and Roelands will also receive water fluoridation at this time where they are connected to the same Water Corporation operated public water supply scheme.

Eaton Dental Centre dentist Dr Ramaprasad Natarajan said fluoridation was beneficial for children in developing healthy teeth.

“It will prevent more decay in their mouths so there will be less chance of developing cavities,” he said.

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“So their teeth become more acid resistant so that will be more helpful to the future generations.

“When the tooth development is finished there is no reason to have the fluoride in the water there.”

Australind Dental Centre dentist Dr Timothy Crofts said there was a significant difference in dental hygiene between people in areas with fluoridation and those without.

“There are studies which show a 30 to 50 per cent decrease in decay for children in these areas and that is significant,” he said.

“As a dentist we see that difference in people who grew up in Perth compared to those who didn’t grow up in Perth how different it is before and after fluoride.”

Dr Crofts said he was more concerned with the health benefits than any loss of clients.

“At the end of the day our job is about making people healthy again and fluoride is a part of that job,” he said.

“Unfortunately we are in a profession where people make the wrong decisions about diet and brushing so I don’t think it is a concern for us.”

However, Fluoride Free Bunbury coordinator John Vukovich said fluoride was damaging to not just people but also the environment.

“It doesn’t just go into people - most of it goes into lawns and into the ground and that contaminates the ground water,” he said.

“There has never been any scientific trial showing that fluoride does help against tooth decay but there is plenty of evidence that it does cause other issues including ADHD and mental health issues.”

Future community water fluoridation for Bunbury and Dalyellup is also being investigated as part of the overall strategy.

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