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Media Coverage: Oberon fluoride move welcomed

13 April 2021 
The Oberon Review

After advocacy from ADA NSW and other key stakeholders, Oberon Council recently restarted fluoridating its local water supply. ADA NSW President Dr Kathleen Matthews explains why this is a great step for the oral health of the local population.

Oberon Council's fluoridation of its water supply is a terrific boost for the town, dental experts say.

"The move by Oberon Council to start water fluoridation is excellent news for the oral health of Oberon residents," Australian Dental Association NSW president Dr Kathleen Matthews said.

"Water fluoridation gives everyone a fair go when it comes to having healthy teeth.

"Tooth decay is one of the most common health problems in NSW, Australia and the world. It can result in pain, infection and tooth loss which can severely impact overall wellbeing and quality of life. Fluoridated water is a key part of protecting against tooth decay."

Oberon Council voted 5-3 in July 2018 to add fluoride to the water as a dental health measure after a divisive and at times heated community debate.

Dr Matthews said current research in NSW and Australia had "reaffirmed a continued benefit of water fluoridation in tooth decay prevention".

"These findings show that tooth decay was lower among children in areas with water fluoridation than non-fluoridated areas," she said.

"There is no evidence of any negative health effects associated with water fluoridation at recommended levels in Australia.

"Several international reviews over the last 25 years have examined the evidence on fluoridation and general health, with none finding that fluoridation poses a known health risk. Water fluoride is a safe and effective means of improving oral health and has health benefits for everyone who drinks it.

"Fluoridated water especially helps the people most vulnerable to decay - children, the elderly, the disabled, the socially disadvantaged and Indigenous Australians. Like all Australians, Oberon residents deserve the right to good oral health. This decision will help protect the oral health of Oberon residents of all ages."

While welcoming the decision, Dr Matthews also urged Oberon residents to continue caring for their oral health.

"Good health starts with what you put in your mouth and good oral health is key to overall wellbeing," she said.

"ADA NSW reminds residents of Oberon and the Central West that water fluoridation is only one part of overall oral health, along with minimising sugary treats and drinks, regular brushing, flossing and regular check-ups with your dentist."

For more information on water fluoridation and its contribution to good oral health, visit www.adansw.com.au/Community/Fact-Sheets

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