Call for water fluoridation to cut childhood tooth decay Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Press Release: New Zealand Dental Association

The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England recently released a report on the poor state of children's oral health in England. They called for widespread introduction of water fluoridation in order to reduce the huge numbers of children having teeth extracted.

The Faculty of Dental Surgery cited a report by Public Health England that found 45% fewer children aged one to four were admitted to hospital for tooth decay in fluoridated areas.

In New Zealand the latest Ministry of Health Annual Health Survey found that 35,000 children had teeth extracted in the past year because of tooth decay.

The New Zealand Dental Association is appalled at this figure as it means that children in New Zealand are suffering unnecessarily. The NZ Dental Association advocates for the widespread introduction of water fluoridation. "The evidence states that tooth decay rates are 40% lower in regions where the population is protected by drinking fluoridated water" states Dr David Crum, CEO of the NZ Dental Association.

A report released last year titled "Health effects of water fluoridation: a review of the scientific evidence"published on behalf of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor strongly supports the findings of the review of the scientific evidence into the health effects of water fluoridation.

"The report strongly reaffirms the NZDA's position that community water fluoridation is a safe, effective and cost efficient way of reducing dental caries and reducing health inequalities," says Dr David Crum.

The NZDA and the NZ Medical Association along with the Ministry of Health, the Australian and American Dental Associations, the World Health Organisation and the World Dental Federation all support community water fluoridation. "The NZDA urges the Minister of Health to take the issue seriously and ensure that all New Zealander's are protected from tooth decay by drinking water that has been fluoridated ", says Dr David Crum.