ALL three of Rebecca Batson’s children have had cavities in their teeth which the 43-year-old blames on the lack of fluoride in the Byron Shire water supply.
“I grew up in Sydney where the water is fluoridated and I have never had a single cavity, but all of my kids have had fillings,” the Byron Bay mum said.
Mrs Batson was so concerned with her first born Madison, she gave her fluoride tablets and her teeth are better than her two younger brothers who did not take the tablets.
“I had more time with Madison and her teeth are better, but I think Axel’s are the worst,” she said of her youngest son who is 8.
“You feel terrible, you blame yourself that you have not made them brush their teeth enough, but I think a big part is the fluoride. I think we should definitely have fluoride in the water,” Mrs Batson said.
Lismore dentist Dr Brendan White said children in northern NSW had twice the amount of decay in five years olds than their counterparts who lived in areas with fluoridated water.
“We have the highest rate of tooth decay in five year old and 12 year old in the state and the highest rate of hospitalisation for tooth extractions as well,” Dr White said, adding the Rebecca Batson’s story was common.
“She grew up in (fluoridated) Sydney and has no holes, the kids grew up here and have holes, that’s absolutely typical,” Dr White said.
Rous water, which supplies Lismore, Byron and Ballina has never added fluoride to the water supply.
Byron Shire Council’s executive manager of water and waste, Phil Warner, said Council had considered the issue of fluoridating the water back in 2005 and had resolved not to do so.
Greens mayor of Byron Simon Richardson, a father of two, said the decision to keep fluoride out of the water in the Byron Shire was well before his time but he agreed with it.
“My research suggests you can get it through your toothpaste and cutting down on sugar and having it in the water is forced medication and if it’s in the water most of it goes down your throat whereas the fluoride in toothpaste goes directly onto your teeth,” Cr Richardson said. “Many countries are walking away from it nowadays” he said.