Fluoride Action Network

Oberon. For and against: Two sides of the fluoridation debate

Source: Oberon Review | May 9th, 2018 | Letters by John Giblin and Elizabeth Pollock
Location: Australia

Letters to the Editor


I write to express my concern over the negativity of the debate surrounding the proposed introduction of fluoride into Oberon’s town water supply.

As a practising dentist of 42 years, having owned property in Oberon for 32 years, I am very concerned about the negative attitudes of some folk to this important public health measure.

The evidence is clear that community water fluoridation reduces tooth decay and does not cause any health problems.

Sadly, Oberon is lagging behind the vast majority of the state on this issue, and its people are missing out on the protection provided by fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral.

I had the privilege of addressing a meeting at the Oberon RSL four years ago on this issue.

I left frustrated and dejected by the opposition of many attendees, who were uninformed of the benefits available for the entire community through water fluoridation.

Dentists in Bathurst usually know when they are treating an Oberon patient because of the markedly higher dental decay rate than in patients from areas with water fluoridation.

At times, children from the non-fluoridated Oberon area have to receive dental treatment under general anaesthesia – an expensive procedure that is not without its risks.

Fluoridation of the Oberon water supply will benefit people of all ages, both now and for generations to come. Importantly, it is our young people – babies and children – who will benefit the most from growing up with strong, healthy teeth.

Teeth are made of a mineral called hydroxyapatite. With fluoridation the mineral becomes fluorapatite, which makes the outer layer of the tooth, or enamel, markedly more resistant to the acids produced by oral bacteria, which cause dental decay and gum disease.

All of us produce these acids after consuming foods and drinks, especially those containing sugars.

Community water fluoridation began in the United States in the 1940s, after experts observed that populations with certain levels of naturally-occurring fluoride in their water had little or no tooth decay.

Since then, adjusting the levels of fluoride in community drinking water has greatly reduced dental decay in cities from Sydney to San Francisco.

It is interesting to note that by supporting fluoridation, as they have always done, dentists are actively trying to put themselves out of business!

Fluoridation of Oberon’s water supply would be a game changer. By voting for it, you have the opportunity to improve health outcomes in your community, particularly among those who tend to have the worst oral health – the young, the elderly, the disadvantaged and the disabled.

By voting for fluoridation, you have the opportunity to have a positive impact on people’s lives, both now and in the future.

You have the opportunity to make a difference, to keep Oberon progressive, to keep Oberon smiling. The choice is yours – please vote for fluoridation.

John Giblin (Dental Surgeon), BDS MDS FRACDS DICOI


WELL, here we go again. Just a few years after deciding we didn’t want fluoride in our water supply, council has decided to bring the matter up again.

I do not know about you, but I don’t want to be poisoned by industrial waste.

It is just another way for multi-national (foreign) companies to dispose of their poison and they have somehow got the politicians and bureaucrats on their side.

I have lived all my life in non fluoride areas and all I have to do each year is get my teeth cleaned.

Does that tell you something? I don’t see why we must be poisoned, just because somebody wants a bigger bottom line.

I have also worked in the chemical and aluminium industries for a number of years, both in Australia and overseas, where I was involved in the technical and laboratory sides of these industries, so I think I know something about the subject.

By the way, why should councillors (about two-thirds of them) who do not live in town, and so don’t have to drink the water, have a say in any decisions?

If they want to be fair, they should abstain from voting on the subject.

We can only hope that the remaining councillors do the right thing.

If you want fluoride in your system, pop a pill or swallow your fluoride tooth paste.

Just read the label first where it says you must not swallow it and you must not give it to children under eight years of age. Surely that should tell you something.

There is a petition doing the rounds and I would ask that you sign it and not just think someone else will do it.

This is a sure way to lose the argument.

Also just write a few words of rejection and drop it into the council chambers.

It need not be much – just say no to fluoride, or write you just don’t want it and you don’t want to be forced medicated or poisoned.

Just remember that there are very few countries in the world who are fluoridated and some are thinking of opting out.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of being told what to do by others.

By all means, medicate yourselves but stop trying to force poison down out throats.

If this subject is to be discussed at the community meeting in May.

You may sit there all night while they go through lots of other things and then there is a possibility that you will be told they they have run out of time and can’t discuss the matter.

Also remember if it costs council one cent to have it in the water, it will most probably cost you five cents. Aren’t our rates high enough?

I could go on with much more but I am sure you have got the picture so I shall leave it there. Just say no.

Elizabeth Pollock