The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) welcomes the Government’s announcement that the decision-making process for community water fluoridation will sit with the Director General of Health.
The NZDA is very pleased with the news, having advocated on behalf of the dentists and their patients to the health select committee in 2017 that community water fluoridation decisions should be made this way.
“It is great to see the leadership coming from the government on this, as this is something that the NZDA has been calling on for many years,” said NZDA’s fluoridation spokesperson Dr Rob Beaglehole.
NZDA President Dr Katie Ayers says it is clear the Director General of Health will have the resources to make decisions based on the real health benefits community water fluoridation provides. The change will hugely reduce suffering, as more New Zealanders
will gain access to optimally fluoridated water.
“I think this policy has the potential to lead to huge reductions in tooth decay, particularly for children. Access to community water fluoridation can reduce tooth decay by up to 40 percent over their lifetime.”
“Significantly more New Zealand communities, including those with high oral health needs will finally be able to access ideally fluoridated water, leading to reductions in tooth decay, pain and suffering. In time there should be fewer children needing to have dental treatment under general anesthetic. There will be significant cost savings for taxpayers.