IMO [Irish Medical Association] members have rejected a call for the Department of Health to support a media campaign to highlight the causes of dental decay – namely poor diet and inadequate dental hygiene – and stop the practice of adding fluoride to public drinking water.
Proposer Dr Elizabeth Cullen (Kildare) stressed to members that the motion was not about whether or not fluoride reduced dental decay, but whether or not it should be put into our drinking water.
“If sugary foods are the problem, then the answer must be to reduce our intake of such foods and to promote adequate dental hygiene. The addition of fluoride to our drinking water is not the answer.” Dr Cullen added that fluoride was the only drug she was aware of whose dose depended on “how thirsty you are”.
However, the practice of fluoridation was vigorously supported from the floor, with it being championed as the “biggest single thing we can do to prevent dental decay”.
Attendees at Carton House were told that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has described it as one of the 10 top public health initiatives that were undertaken in the 20th century, likening it to vaccinations in terms of its impact, one doctor suggested.