Note from FAN:
Fluoridation cannot help baby bottle tooth decay. It was highly unprofessional for dentist and fluoridation proponent, Tim Mackay, to suggest otherwise in the article below.
A Gore toddler whose rotting teeth had to be surgically removed might have avoided such bad decay if water in the Gore district was fluoridated, a southern dental surgeon says.
Southern District Health Board dental public health specialist Tim Mackay removed the child’s decaying top four front teeth and said the back molars, which were just six months old, also had holes in them.
“I’m the guy who fixes this,” Mr Mackay said. “It’s heartbreaking … I’m the destroyer of smiles.”
If there had been fluoride in the child’s water, the tooth decay may not have been so severe, he said.
The only two towns with fluoridated water in Southland were Invercargill and Bluff, with Mr Mackay saying he saw fewer cavities in children from those areas.
Children did not need to drink fluoridated water to receive the benefits, because eating food cooked with fluoridated water was still effective, he said.
Parents needed to be aware that some children’s toothpastes were “low fluoride” and should be avoided.
Mr Mackay said he saw about eight children a week in the southern district who required dental surgery. The average age of those children was 4 years old, he said.
There was an assumption everyone owned a toothbrush and toothpaste but for some families they were luxury items, Mr Mackay said.
“They’ve got to choose between food or a toothbrush,” he said.
Southern District Health Board representatives congratulated the Invercargill City Council at a committee meeting last week for having had fluoride in the town’s water supply for more than 50 years.
The council requested a report on the potential health effects of fluoride in water supplies from the health board after receiving six submissions last year asking council to stop putting fluoride in the city water.
Mr Mackay said those opposed to fluoride in water supplies were often basing their opinions on “pseudo-science”.
“Typically the people against it (water fluoridation) have been to ‘Google University’,” he said.
“It’s safe and effective, and we’re just not seeing any negative effects in the population.”
Southern District Health Board medical officer of health Marion Poore said there was no reason the council should change its policy on water fluoridation.
“Advice from health experts is the policy you’ve had in place for
the past 50 years should continue,” she said.
The council agreed to discuss fluoridation of Invercargill’s water supply further when they discussed the draft annual plan.
Gore District Council three waters asset manager Sarah Dowling said the possibility of water fluoridation had not been discussed at council during her employment of two years.
“There’s no way that would be enforced without consultation with the community,” she said.
Miss Dowling said it would be up to the community to indicate water fluoridation was something they wanted.
Southland District Council operations manager for water and waste water utilities Les Collins said there had not been any recent discussions about fluoridation in those towns without it.
“It comes up from time to time but there’s been no movement to have fluoride added, nor to remove the natural fluoride that sometimes occurs in New Zealand water,” he said.