FEWER teeth cavities will be the bonus when town water supplies in the Upper Hunter Shire are fluoridated in a few years’ time.

After two months of consultation, councillors unanimously voted last week to move towards a fluoridation program.

Upper Hunter Shire mayor Michael Johnsen said it was an historic step toward better dental health.

The initiative will also mean improved water treatment facilities in parts of the shire.

To encourage fluoridation, the NSW Government provides grants to install fluoridation systems.

Planning is underway for improved water treatment for Scone, Aberdeen and Merriwa.

“This will be carefully planned and will take a few years,” Upper Hunter Shire general manager Waid Crockett said.

“Council will give residents plenty of notice before fluoride is added to town water supplies.”

Fluoridation of water supplies began in 1956 in NSW and has already been implemented in the vast majority of the state.

Before the decision, council distributed information about fluoridation, including a mail-out to 6000 households and called for submissions that were considered by the councillors.