Public health continues to support fluoridation of city water to protect people’s smiles.
The topic came up unexpectedly during an Ottawa public health board meeting Monday when members discussed a letter from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit asking for support to have the province fund and promote community fluoridation.
The health board voted 5-1 to support their colleagues in Simcoe Muskoka.
Dr. Isra Levy, Ottawa’s chief medical officer of health, told the board he receives frequent communications from a “small number of people” who call for an end to fluoridation of city water.
Stopping fluoridation would be “undesirable” and it has become a “distracting debate” at the local level, Levy said.
Levy says the science is there to clearly back fluoridation of municipal water and dental associations are in favour of the practice.
According to the city, research says people who drink fluoridated water have between 15% and 40% fewer cavities.
The city uses hydrofluorosilicic acid to fluoridate water during the final state of the water treatment process.
No fluoride is added to the five communal well systems operated by the city.
Capital Coun. David Chernushenko was the only health board member present to express some skepticism of fluoridation.
He questioned the process of adding things to municipal water and he was wary of “giving away the debate to the province.”
The city should go through the “state of the science” before writing a letter of support, Chernushenko said.
Several Canadian municipalities, including many in Ontario, have stopped adding fluoride to their drinking water.