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Health Ministry Clueless about Tooth Decay

Health Ministry Clueless about Tooth Decay

Even after decades of fluoridation, a new Government report is showing severe tooth decay in fluoridated areas. The same is happening in the birthplace of fluoridation – the USA. The 2009 NZ Oral Health survey showed tooth decay increasing in fluoridated areas but decreasing in unfluoridated areas, The Ministry admits it cannot explain this.

The South Wairarapa DHB recently announced that more children in fluoridated areas required multiple tooth extractions under general anesthetic than those in unfluoridated areas, who also have less total tooth decay.

Parents are striving to do the right things by limiting soft drinks, other sugary foods, and ensuring their children brush their teeth twice a day, but still their children have ended up with dental decay.
“The recent Stuff article[1] does identify real issues – baby-bottle decay (which fluoride cannot stop); sweet drinks, snacks at night and insufficient checkups (a recent Canterbury programme showed a 30-50% reduction through regular checkups).”, points out Mary Byrne, National Coordinator of health group, and fluoridation experts, Fluoride Action Network NZ.

“Instead of wasting thousands of dollars on a so-called Fluoridation Information Service, the Ministry of Health needs to use this money to do real research into what can be causing the current increase in dental decay” suggests Ms Byrne.

“For instance, it may actually be that another Ministry of Health initiative is at least one of the reasons. It is well known now that most New Zealanders are likely to be vitamin D deficient, and vitamin D plays a crucial role in bone and tooth development. Exposure of the skin to natural sunlight is been the body’s primary source of Vitamin D. Therefore the Slip Slop Slap message may be having unintended consequences” concludes Ms Byrne.

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