Late in 2014, the Taumarunui Health Governance Board advocated the reintroduction of fluoridation to Taumarunui’s public water supply citing increased dental decay rates among children.
To the contrary, there is no evidence to support these claims. Information received under the official information act show that general anaesthetics, for children up to age 18, has declined since fluoridation was stopped.
The DHB has advised that the dental team increased their oral health education and moved to some direct preventative measures such as direct application of fluoride varnish on pre-schoolers’ teeth.
This is obviously a far better solution than fluoridation as it would appear this has had a very positive effect on reducing serious dental health problems. Providing education gives people life long ability to look after their own teeth and is far cheaper, as well as far safer, than general anaesthetics. So by their own admission there are viable alternatives to fluoridation.
Ruapehu District Councillors should congratulate themselves on having made a very sensible decision in 2011, which has now led to a real improvement in dental health outcomes for the community. This has been done without imposing any risks or upsetting people who feel fluoridation imposes on their right not to be medicated against their informed consent.
Only 23 councils out of 67 have any fluoridation, so Ruapehu-Taumarunui policy of no fluoridation is shared by the in majority of councils in the country.