GREG Moore is counting down the days til he can enjoy a glass of fluoridated water in Rockhampton.
The Australian Dental Association Queensland president, he has been campaigning for fluoridation since the 1980s.
As councillors debate the hot topic again this afternoon, he says it will be a great day for the city when the chemical is finally added to the drinking water supply.
“Queensland’s dental health is the worst in Australia, with the greatest level of dental decay in the broad population,” he said yesterday.
“Finally we are going to do something about it. It will be a great day for the dental health of Rockhampton when we can turn on the tap and drink fluoridated water.”
Dr Moore said the evidence in favour of adding fluoride was overwhelming. It made tooth enamel 10 times more resistant to acid attack, and in a society where children drank so much sugary, fizzy drink, it would make a big difference.
“Townsville has added it to the city’s water since the 1960s and the incidence of dental disease there is 20% lower than here in Rockhampton.
“Unfortunately 80% of treatment needs involve the 20% of the population who have greatest difficulty in accessing dental services.
“Prevention is better than cure.
“Without fluoride we are fighting a losing battle against cola.”
He said he acknowledged the issue polarised opinions and had no doubt about the sincerity of anti-fluoride campaigners like Rockhampton Regional Councillor Glenda Mather.
But he said a CQUniversity opinion poll had shown most people in Rockhampton were ready for the change and introduction had not been a big topic in the last State Government election.
“Although there is a loud vocal opposition, it is a minority view.”
He said there was no danger that adding fluoride to drinking water would harm anyone.
Yet Dr Moore does not expect fluoride to solve all that is wrong with dental services in Queensland.
“There is an overwhelming demand. If you called my surgery for an appointment today, I could see you in April next year.
“There simply aren’t enough of us, although the problem is getting better now we are training more of our own dentists in universities.”
Councillors are this afternoon expected to reject a call from Cr Mather to demand a halt to mass fluoridation in the light of a ruling in the European Union.