Nearly two years ago, city hall voted to eliminate fluoride from Windsor’s water supply against the recommendation of the Windsor-Essex health unit.
However, new plans could bring fluoridation back to the city, and all of Ontario.
As a pediatric dentist, Dr. Alexandria Merrianno sees the very worst of Windsor’s dental problems.
When the city voted to remove fluoride from the water supply, she knew her job was going to get a little bit tougher.
“I think my first thought was disappointed, there have been numerous studies over numerous years showing the benefits of fluoride in the drinking water,” said Merrianno.
She said fluoridated water strengthens enamel and prevents decay in developing teeth.
It’s especially beneficial to children, Merrianno said fluoridated water strengthens enamel and prevents decay in developing teeth.
“When we’re talking about levels like 0.7 parts per million, those are safe levels, safe to be ingested and also beneficial to prevent the cavities,” she said.
The World Health Organization, Ontario Dental Association and Windsor-Essex County Health unit all support fluoridation.
In January 2013, Windsor city council debated the issue at a marathon six hour meeting, which had presentations from about 30 delegations.
That’s when the city decided that after 50 years, it will no longer have fluoride in its water.
Hilary Payne was one of three councillors against the change.
“It does reduce dental decay, especially among children, and that’s especially important for the children of low income families who may not have the financial resources for tooth welfare generally, and it’s even more in their interest to have dental decay reduced.”
The fight to get fluoride back in Windsor’s water might not have to come through city hall — MPPs at Queen’s Park are considering a change to the Safe Drinking Water Act.
If it goes through, the chance could make fluoridation mandatory across the province.