Canterbury’s head of Dental Health Services says a Ministry of Health report on oral health in New Zealand highlights the growing need to fluoridate the region’s drinking water.
The New Zealand Oral Health Survey, released last month by Minister Peter Dunne, shows that both children and adults living in non-fluoridated areas have worse oral health.
Canterbury Clinical Director of Community Dental Services, Dr Martin Lee, says oral health professionals in Canterbury are pleased to see the release of the survey and congratulate the Ministry of Health on what will be a very useful tool for improving the oral health of Canterbury people.
“The survey has shown that both children and adults living in non-fluoridated areas have worse oral health than those fortunate enough to live in areas where their local councils fluoridate their water supplies,” Dr Lee says.
Decades of research has shown water fluoridation is both safe and effective and does not make the water taste funny either, he says.
Canterbury’s only fluoridated supplies are at Methven and Burnham Military Camp.
“Each dollar saved by not fluoridating more water supplies has cost the District Health Board and the people of Canterbury about ten dollars worth of dental treatment – not to mention the life-long costs of poor oral health,” Dr Lee says.
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