A notice of motion calling for Regina to start fluoridating its water in 2025 has the backing of nearly everybody on city council.
In four years, the new Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant is expected to be complete, at which point fluoridation equipment could start serving the city.
The cost would be “very reasonable,” the notice of motion says. There would be a one-time equipment purchase of $2 million, with a $210,000 cost per year for fluoride supplies.
Mayor Sandra Masters has signed the motion, along with every other ward councillor except for Ward 10’s Landon Mohl.
Coun. Bob Hawkins says the public would benefit from improved oral health.
“For children, dental cavities are a real ordeal going to the dentist, and it affects their teeth for the rest of their life, and (for) older people, cavities are a problem when they are older people (who) have to get appliances put in their mouth,” Hawkins said.
Fluoridated water is a decades-old public health practice, endorsed by numerous organizations that represent or regulate health professionals like the College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Dental Therapists Association and the Canadian Dental Association.
“Community water fluoridation has been identified by the Canadian Public Health Association as one of the 12 great public health milestones in the past 100 years,” the notice of motion says.
A few Canadian cities that use water fluoridation include Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Halifax, Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, London, Lethbridge, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Having lived elsewhere, Hawkins says his family has benefitted from fluoridated water. He says several decades ago, Regina held a plebiscite but voters rejected fluoridation.
Hawkins says it’s overdue for the issue to be revisited. He doesn’t see a need to put it to voters again.
“We’ve just been through a period of time in which science has told us a vaccination will protect us from COVID. We know that fluoride protects us from teeth decay and improves our general health in the population. Science tells us that and I think the public is ready to accept it,” he said.
“This is not anything new. Science is overwhelmingly positive in favour of fluoride.”
*Original article online at https://www.cjme.com/2021/07/13/753324/