ANTI-FLUORIDE campaigners have stepped up their push to “educate” Geelong about the impact fluoridation would have in the region.

Victoria Fluoride Information Network is circulating an open letter to Premier Steve Bracks and other officials, attacking plans to link Melbourne’s fluoridated water to Geelong.

Network spokesman Keith Oakley said the letter was the start of a new protest.

The network claims mixing fluoride into Geelong’s water system is medically wrong and “downright stupid”.

“We need more community awareness of what fluoridation is all about,” Mr Oakley said.

“We’ve been campaigning for a number of years but in the latest scientific information we’re learning more about the negative effects of fluoridated supplies.

“I don’t see how they can put something in the water supply to treat people without individual consent.”

A spokesman for Health Minister Bronwyn Pike said the most important issue was Geelong’s long-term water security.

“The Bracks Government is committed to extending fluoridation across rural and regional Victoria to improve the dental health of all Victorians,” the spokesman said.

“The Department of Human Services will provide information on fluoridation to the greater Geelong community and provide an opportunity for the community to ask questions about fluoridation.”

Australian Dental Association’s Victorian branch president Mark Bowman said fluoridation was the cheapest and most effective way to improve oral health.

Geelong dentist Ailin Teo, of the Dr Knowles Dental Surgery, said protesters were spreading a lot of “misinformation”.

“Anything in excess would cause problems to our health, whether that be having too much water, food or overloading on anything,” she said.

“The example I give people is if someone swallowed an entire tube of toothpaste, then they would run into problems with fluoride.”

Fluoride levels in Geelong’s water supply would not be as high as in Melbourne once the pipe connected Geelong and Melbourne in 2011.

Dr Teo said Geelong dentists were performing major dental work on children because oral health in the region was so poor.