Upper Hunter Shire Council has put facts about water fluoridation on display for the benefit of residents.

And, following feedback, council will vote on whether to introduce this significant dental health initiative.

Information about fluoridation from NSW Health, the Australian Dental Association, (WHO) and other authorities are available on council’s website www.upperhunter.nsw.gov.au

The links include fact sheets, questions and answers, NSW legislation and Codes of Practice for the fluoridation of water supplies. 

Information is also on display in council offices in Scone, Murrurundi and Merriwa.

A flyer about the possibility of introducing fluoridation will be sent to Upper Hunter residents on town water supplies.

Examples of questions and answers from NSW Health include:

Is water fluoridation NSW policy?

It is NSW Health policy (PD 2006_076) to continue water fluoridation in NSW as it remains an effective, efficient, socially equitable and safe population approach to the prevention of cavities in Australia.

What is the evidence for water fluoridation?

An overwhelming weight of scientific evidence supports community water fluoridation as a safe and effective measure in the prevention of dental decay. It has been endorsed by numerous organisations, including the World Health Organisation and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

How much fluoride is added to the water supply?

In NSW water is fluoridated at 1ppm (which is one part of fluoride in one million parts of water). There is an extensive testing program in place to monitor the quality of community drinking water supplies.

The Australian Dental Association states:

* Water fluoridation is the topping up of the levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the water to strengthen teeth against tooth decay. Fluorides are minerals found very commonly in the earth’s crust and in all water supplies.

* Most Australian towns and cities were fluoridated in the 1960s and 70s, and today around 90 per cent of Australians enjoy the decay fighting benefits of water fluoridation.

* Fluoridated water means fewer fillings, fewer extractions, and fewer visits to the dentist – resulting in healthier teeth, better smiles, and less pain and suffering.

* Health and scientific authorities around the world have endorsed fluoridation for decades, and the number of people around the world drinking fluoridated water continues to grow.

Council will consider residents’ comments and vote at a future meeting on whether to fluoridate the town water supplies in Aberdeen, Merriwa, Scone, Murrurundi and possibly Cassilis.

The capital works required would take a few years.

Written submissions on water fluoridation should be sent by Friday, July 4, to:

General Manager, Upper Hunter Shire Council, PO Box 208, Scone, NSW 2337 or emailed to council@upperhunter.nsw.gov.au

Written submissions can also be handed in at council offices in Murrurundi, Merriwa or Scone.