MONEY saved by cutting fluoridisation programs should go to improving dental services, the Australian Dental Association Queensland president said.
Last week the State Government announced it would no longer force towns with more than 1000 people to fluoridate their water.
The change means the South Burnett Regional Council could cease fluoridating the region’s water supplies.
Dr Andrew Wong said the dental association did understand most people in the South Burnett drink tank water, “so the costs of fluoridating the water are greater than the benefits”.
But although the council here is yet to decide on the future of the region’s fluoride program, Dr Wong said he was concerned about the interests of and benefits to the wider community being lost.
He said if the State Government was trying to save money by not fluoridating the water in the area “then the money saved should be used to improve access to dental services in the Burnett”.
Kingaroy dentist Dr Phuong Pye said one of the biggest issues her surgery dealt with was tooth decay.
She said the most effective way to deal with decay was water fluoridation.
“Statistics say the largest group of people who are at risk of tooth decay are low-socio economic, Indigenous and children,” Dr Pye said.
“And they’re the ones who have the most trouble accessing care, so water fluoridation is the most equitable way to providing a preventative measure for decay.”
Earlier this week Mayor Wayne Kratzmann said he welcomed the news of the change to the law and said it could save the council around $150,000 a year.
He said he would be recommending the removal of the fluoride program at the council’s December 19 meeting.
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