Fluoride and the sugar tax proposal

There are two issues in the public arena at present that affect our oral health – the prospect of fluoride being added to our drinking water to be decided by the District Health Boards and the sugar tax proposal.

Protect our children's oral healthAs most of us know the consumption of sugars (and processed foods) is not good for dental health (and the health of our body). However people are still consuming too much. And it’s our children who are the ones suffering. Dr Aseem Malhotra, an esteemed UK cardiologist was interviewed by the Australian “Lateline” program and he talks about the health of our children as well as our oral health. If you have the time, it is worth watching: click HERE.

Recently I caught up with a dental colleague from the Whakatane area who treats children with appalling teeth decay and gum disease. Apparently the parents don’t provide toothbrushes and toothpaste, and don’t take their children to the dentist for regular check-ups, so he advocates fluoride in the drinking water. I was told that fluoride in the water is the most cost effective way to treat these children. Education doesn’t work and is too expensive..

Why do we need to ingest fluoride in our drinking water to make up for people’s negligence?
1. We’ll end up paying extra for their future medical treatment through tax if we don’t.
2. If their parents don’t look after them then someone else has to, because they deserve a chance in life.

Again, it comes down to looking after our children’s oral health. How do we protect our children?

If we can decrease sugar consumption and processed foods to a negligible amount, and improve the state of children’s oral health by teaching them to brush their teeth and gums, and add in regular dental visits to catch any problems when they are minor, we would not need to add fluoride to our drinking water. Is there any hope?

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