The Australian Dental Association – Queensland Branch is calling on the Queensland Government to mandate water fluoridation in Queensland.
When the Water Fluoridation Act 2008 was amended in 2012, almost 20 local councils around the State acted to remove fluoride from their water supply. Despite much political debate about this, including publicly stated support for the re-introduction of mandated fluoridation from a number of Health Ministers since then, there has been no action by Government on this issue.
“Water fluoridation is the easiest, cheapest, most effective and safest way to provide the dental health benefits of fluoridated water to the greatest number of people,” ADAQ president Dr Adrian Frick said.
“Children and adults in non-fluoridated communities suffer significantly more tooth decay than in fluoridated communities. Fluoride has never been in our water; people think we had it but we never have—and we’ve always had high decay.”
Dr Frick added that the State Government needs to take control.
“I don’t believe this is something council should be responsible for; it needs to be mandated by the State as a public health issue.
“As stated in the National Oral Health Plan, community water fluoridation is a cost-effective and equitable initiative that is supported by overwhelming scientific evidence and recognised as one of the most important public health interventions.”
ADAQ is also calling on the State Government to make sufficient funding available to local government to ensure fluoridation of water supplies can be achieved, along with the funding of a local government and public education campaign focused on the safety and efficacy of fluoridated water and the health benefits associated with it.