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Water Fluoridation

Getting to grips with water fluoridation

The government is transferring responsibility for deciding whether local water supplies are fluoridated or not from local government to district health boards. This decision has prompted more discussion in comments sections between people for and against fluoridation.

The objections to fluoridation, and the science supporting it, can quickly get technical. This means people who don’t have the time or the inclination to work through all the detail can be left with the impression that questions remain unanswered. That’s why we've created a short pamphlet on water fluoridation:

Water Fluoridation Pamphlet

A quick guide to water fluoridation

ARPHS’ brochure on fluoridation sets out why the vast majority of  health professionals are in favour of fluoridation in New Zealand. It addresses its safety, and some of the myths often raised by opponents to fluoridation.

Please feel free to download and print or quote this resource if and when the topic of  fluoridation comes up for discussion in your school, group or community.

Posters are also available:

5 facts about fluoridation poster (print)
5 facts about fluoridation poster (online)

Please note that the 'print' version shows 'cut marks' for  display printing. It should be trimmed to the cup marks to remove the white border left by most printers.

ARPHS Technical Statement

Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) supports the Ministry of Health’s recommendation that community water fluoridation is continued in currently fluoridated areas, and introduced in non-fluoridated areas where technically feasible.

Community water fluoridation is considered to be the most cost-effective population-based way to prevent dental decay.

ARPHS is committed to addressing health inequalities. Children from families in lower socio-economic areas often suffer from poorer oral health compared with other families. Community water fluoridation benefits everyone, regardless of an individual’s behaviour, ethnic or socio-economic status. It is effective in reducing the inequalities in oral health in the Auckland region, to the benefit of populations with low income. 

ARPHS believes community water fluoridation should be promoted as an effective measure for reducing and addressing unfair differences in oral health between population groups. 

ARPHS Clinical Director Dr Julia Peters says: "The vast majority of medical and dental organisations support water fluoridation as a safe and proven way to protect the oral health of New Zealanders. 

"As health professionals, we advocate for the right of people to have ready access to public health initiatives that benefit their health. Fluoridating water is an important public health initiative that has demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing tooth decay over the last 60 years, and it should be available to all our communities, especially our most vulnerable ones. Water fluoridation is the only free dental health intervention for adults, and it provides powerful protection against tooth decay at recommended safe levels of 0.7-1.0 mg/litre. The long-term effect of fluoride in drinking water improves dental health and helps prevent painful tooth decay."

Read More

ARPHS media releases and advice

Ministry of Health information

WEBSITE: Community Water Fluoridation: Get the Facts - community water fluoridation is an effective, safe and affordable way to prevent and reduce tooth decay for everyone.

To learn more about the Ministry's stance on community water fluoridation visit their main website.

VIDEO: The Benefits and Safety of Community Water Fluoridation

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