News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Water fluoridation: Most effective preventive oral health


Media Release
Water fluoridation: The most effective preventive oral health measure for New Zealand children

Tuesday 19 February, 2013

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) strongly supports the fluoridation of community drinking water throughout New Zealand as an effective, safe and equitable method of preventing dental caries and promoting good oral health in children and young people.

Physicians and Paediatricians regularly see the devastating impact of poor oral health in children and believe that good oral health plays an integral part in the overall health and wellbeing of children and young people.

According to Dr Roger Tuck, a Whangarei paediatrician, who regularly sees children presenting with poor oral health status, more needs to be done from a public health perspective to help ensure the oral health of children and adolescents.

“While the onus is appropriately placed upon parents and caregivers to ensure children have healthy diets and dental habits conducive to good oral health, many children are not fortunate enough to experience these basic cares”, Dr Tuck says.

“The far-reaching effects of water fluoridation ensure all children are habitually exposed to at least one preventive oral health measure”.
The RACP affirms community water fluoridation as the single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay and improve oral health.

“Many scientific reviews provide strong and compelling evidence that community water fluoridation is not only an effective and cost-saving method for reducing tooth decay but it is regarded as one of the ‘top ten’ public health interventions of all time12”, public health physician Associate Professor Chris Bullen says.

1 Ministry of Health (2010) Our Oral Health: Key findings of the 2009 New Zealand Oral Health Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1999) Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Fluoridation of Drinking Water to Prevent Dental Caries. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4841a1.htm

Of concern to the RACP is the current regional variation of communities receiving fluoridated water around the country. This results in oral health inequities for children and young people.

There are consistent socio-economic and ethnic inequalities in oral health status in New Zealand and water fluoridation benefits all people regardless of circumstance.

“One of the best things about community water fluoridation is that everyone benefits simply by consuming food and drink prepared with fluoridated water, therefore water fluoridation is a key way to reduce inequalities in oral health”, says Associate Professor Bullen.

RACP reiterates that fluoride is a naturally occurring substance already present at low levels in New Zealand’s fresh water. Community water fluoridation, at the optimal level of 0.7-1.0 ppm, is therefore a supplementary health measure.

RACP is aware that the Fluoride Action Network of New Zealand (FANNZ) is hosting a visiting anti-fluoride academic from the United States to speak in areas where water fluoridation is currently being debated. The potential impact these events and the generated media coverage will have on public knowledge and perspectives on water fluoridation is concerning.

To help the public make an informed decision on the topic of water fluoridation, the RACP encourages public health agencies and the Ministry of Health to promote the multitude of quality information and research that is publicly available.

The RACP calls on government health bodies to be proactive, focusing in the areas where water fluoridation has not yet been introduced or is being debated, to ensure information outlining the rationale for fluoridation is readily accessible and actively promoted.

In September 2012, the RACP and the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons released a joint position statement ‘Physicians and dentists collaborate on oral health in children and young people’, advocating for water fluoridation. Please click here to access this position statement.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news