Letter | Look at the studies to see the benefits

THE signatories to this letter are expert health organisations and peak and professional bodies committed to improving the health of all Australians.

We write today to express our support for water fluoridation as a safe, cost-effective and equitable public health measure.

​Good oral health is vital for good overall health, and water fluoridation is the most effective way to reduce tooth decay in all members of the community, regardless of their age, socioeconomic background or ability to access dental care.

Community water fluoridation began in Australia in the 1950s and is supported by every state, territory and federal health department in Australia. 

Water fluoridation is safe, with around 89 per cent of Australians now having access to fluoridated water and the oral health benefits it provides.

For decades, reputable research studies here and overseas have shown that water fluoridation helps prevent tooth decay.

​This finding was recently reaffirmed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), which provides the Australian community with health advice based on the best available scientific evidence.

In November 2017, the National Health and Medical Research Council released its latest statement on Water Fluoridation and Human Health in Australia, saying: “There is reliable evidence that community water fluoridation helps to prevent tooth decay.”

The NHMRC found that water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by 26pc to 44pc in children and adolescents, and by 27pc in adults.

Importantly, the NHMRC also states: “There is no reliable evidence of an association between community water fluoridation at current Australian levels and any health problems” – including cancer, lowered intelligence, hip fracture, osteoporosis, and thyroid problems.

Water fluoridation has had an enormous impact on improving Australians’ oral health over the past 60 years. The vast majority of the country enjoys the benefits of fluoridation; residents of Oberon deserve those same advantages.

We urge Oberon Council to review the 2014 determination not to add fluoride to the town water supply.

Signed by representatives of 18 leading health organisations and peak and professional bodies, including the Australian Dental Association NSW, the Australian Medical Association (NSW), the National Rural Health Alliance, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, whose members include the nation’s medical specialists in Paediatric and Child Health.