'Do the right thing': Alliance calls for fluoride in water
FLUORIDATION of drinking water is regarded by public health experts as the most cost-effective health promotion intervention available in a wealthy country such as Australia, according to the National Rural Health Alliance.
The organisation has called on the Commonwealth Government to "encourage and assist" local councils to "do the right thing for the oral and dental health of people in smaller communities".
Bundaberg Regional Council rejected fluoride in February 2013 after much debate in the community.
The Alliance supports the Australian Dental Association's guidelines which state that while fluoridation of community water supplies is the preferred method of fluoridation, fluoride supplements can be used to promote reduction in dental caries for people living in areas that are not optimally fluoridated.
According to the Alliance, in 2010/11 there were more than 60,000 preventable hospitalisations related to dental conditions, with children between five and nine having the highest number of hospital stays for such conditions.
Many of these could be prevented through the fluoridation of drinking water, it said.
The Alliance also is calling for the promotion of a scientific understanding of the benefits of fluoride.