Doctor puts fluoride case

SCIENTIFIC VIEW: Dr Martin Strahan supports the fluoridation of water.
SCIENTIFIC VIEW: Dr Martin Strahan supports the fluoridation of water. Mike Knott

A LEADING Bundaberg health professional has come out in support of fluoridating the region's water.

Bundaberg Regional Council is trying to fight the State Government's requirement that it fluoridate all drinking water.

But Bundaberg Health Promotions chairman Dr Martin Strahan said all water had some naturally occurring fluoride in it, but most had less than what was regarded as optimal for health.

Dr Strahan said the benefits of adding fluoride to water had been well studied.

Studies had found the recommended range of fluoride in water was between 0.6-1.1mg/L.

This could reduce dental decay in children by 40%.

"It's not a guarantee, but it can make a huge impact," he said.

Dr Strahan said it had been found that children from lower socio-economic status benefited most because they often did not have ideal dental hygiene practices at home.

He said opponents of fluoridating water often said people who wanted it could give tablets or fluoridated toothpaste to their children.

"The problem is it's really hard to judge the dosage," he said.

Dr Strahan said if fluoride was provided to children in an excessive dosage it could damage their teeth.

"It's safer to fluoridate the water so the dosage can be controlled," he said.

Dr Strahan said there was no evidence the fluoridation of water caused cancer or any other health problems.

But he said there were some people who would never accept it was safe.

Topics:  doctor fluoride

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