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Fluoridated Southland Children Record High Levels Of Tooth Decay

Around 30 per cent of children in fluoridated Otago-Southland communities have tooth decay – the same as the unfluoridated Southland communities and Canterbury. It is the same for 5 year olds and Year 8 children.

The children with cavities had an average of 3.7 teeth that were either decayed, already pulled out or repaired with a filling – that’s 20 per cent of their 20 baby teeth. The unfluoridated children had similar levels – again, 3.7 in Southland, and around 4.1 in Canterbury. Not 6 as recently reported by Martin Lee of the Canterbury DHB.

These are “raw” figures (for 2015 and 2016), not adjusted for socioeconomic status or ethnicity.

The following chart shows the total rates of decay in the three groups. As we can see, there is no material difference:

The lack of any significant difference in these figures has led to renewed pleas to end fluoridation as ineffective, and for fluoridation proponents like Marin Lee and the Ministry of Health to stop misleading the public with false propaganda.

This plea also recognises the recent research showing children in fluoridated communities suffer the same brain damage as was being caused by leaded petrol when it was banned.

“Fluoridation reduces IQ, not tooth decay, is the clear message from the latest research and data” says Mark Atkin of Fluoride-free NZ.


- Do not drink use fluoridated water during pregnancy

- If you are bottle-feeding your baby, make sure you use unfluoridated water

- Brush teeth twice a day: don’t just spit the toothpaste out – rinsing away the fluoride is essential to protect the child’s brain

- Use no-fluoride toothpaste: be careful when shopping as fluoride levels in adult toothpaste poses a health risk to your child

- Start brushing your child’s teeth from when the first baby teeth come through – and once they can do it themselves supervise them until they are 7 or 8 years old.

- The bugs that cause tooth decay love things like biscuits, fruit juice, dried fruit, fruit puree and sugar sweetened soft drinks – these shouldn’t be in-between meal snacks for children.

- DO NOT EVER leave your baby with a bottle in its mouth (even with milk) when it goes to sleep. It will cause irreparable decay like the picture above – nothing can stop it or fix it.

Instead of eating at set times during the day, children have become grazers, Christchurch’s Community Dental Service clinical director, Martin Lee, said.

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