The Clinical Advisory Board (‘Board’) of Lumino The Dentists has spoken in favour of retaining and expanding water fluoridation and supports the NZ Dental Association stance on fluoridation.
While the Board retains an open mind, they do not feel the evidence supplied by the vocal anti-fluoridation lobby is sufficient to counter the body of evidence that fluoridation is safe and effective.
The Board has criticised the anti-fluoridation lobby for its vocal influence amongst lay people outside the dental industry, and particularly, City Councillors.
“Anti-fluoridation lobbyists often quote research with little regard for context, validity or subsequent reviews that have discounted this questionable research. It is easy to hear emotive, highly political views from the vocal minority and be swayed into thinking this is scientific gospel. Our preference is that those skilled in science and public health policy be the arbiters of public health strategies for New Zealanders, not lay people with limited understanding of scientific reporting. We would prefer that these decisions be made at central government level.
“The effect of water fluoridation is a public health benefit, at little cost, with quality of life advantages that cross all demographics.
“The anti-fluoridation lobby would be better spending their energy on targeting other products that go into people’s mouths daily. We encourage the anti-fluoridation lobby to take a walk around the corridors of any DHB Hospital in NZ to see the impact of sugar - harmful to teeth, human health and life expectancy. The financial toll of an obesity epidemic, driven by consumption of sugar in exponential rates, affords no public health benefit and is catastrophic to the nation’s health and health budget. This doesn’t just comprise the obvious symptoms of weight gain but the associated health liabilities, such as diabetes, peripheral wound care, cardio-vascular disease, gum disease, amputations, renal dialysis, kidney failure and premature death.”
The Board noted recent comments by Prof. Barry Taylor of the University of Otago that evidence did not support fears of adverse developmental effects in children. The Board supports the establishment of working group chaired by Prof. Taylor to evaluate the effects of fluoridation on children’s development in NZ and awaits the outcome with interest.
Lumino The Dentists is the largest employer of dentists with over 73 practices throughout NZ. The company recently held Lumino Day in partnership with KidsCan - an initiative led by clinicians in the group to provide free care for parents and caregivers of Kids Can families. Feedback from the day showed that, anecdotally, there was less advanced decay in fluoridated locations, and the Board believes ‘fluoridation has played a part, without question, in mitigating dental disease in these families. Without it, we are confident that we would have seen more serious decay and unnecessary pain and suffering.’
The National Fluoridation Information Service (NFIS) is funded by the MOH to constantly review literature relating to fluoridation, and is a reliable source of information on fluoride.