The south-west communities of Bunbury and Dalyellup in WA will have fluoridated drinking water on tap by 2023. This follows water fluoridation in November of a number of neighbouring communities—and is part of a broad long-term strategy to combat tooth decay across the state.
The measure will bring the south west into line with Perth and most of the rest of WA.
Today about 92 per cent of WA’s population accesses fluoridated drinking water.
“Fluoridation is an important preventative health measure that improves the oral and overall health of populations,” WA’s Chief Health Officer Dr Andrew said.
“Poor oral health can affect an individual’s ability to sleep, eat and speak and is also associated with a range of medical conditions such as heart and lung infections, cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
“So improving oral health in these communities will go a long way to lifting the overall health and wellbeing of residents, particularly children.”
Fluoridating community water supplies is a key element of the National and State Oral Health Plans.
A 2016 Department of Health study found that children living in unfluoridated areas of the south west of WA were more likely to have poor dental health than those living in the fluoridated Perth metropolitan area.