Dental hygienists speak up on fluoride issue

We are a group of Registered Dental Hygienists from Central Alberta, who would like to raise our voices in support of fluoride in the Red Deer water.

We are a group of Registered Dental Hygienists from Central Alberta, who would like to raise our voices in support of fluoride in the Red Deer water.

Water fluoridation has been around since 1945 when it was first introduced in Canada.

There are over 60 years of research and systemic reviews showing water fluoridation to be an effective and efficient public health measure to prevent dental decay.

Since 1997, there have been 18 major reviews examining fluoridation (including one by Health Canada in 2007). These reviews found no evidence that fluoridation has any negative environmental impact nor can it be linked to cancer, bone disease, kidney disease, birth defects or other health effects. Water fluoridation is supported by over 90 health- related organizations around the world including the World Health Organization, Health Canada, the Canadian and American Dental Associations and The Canadian Medical Association. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named water fluoridation as one of the top 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th Century.

Tooth decay is an infectious disease and is the most common chronic disease found in children in Canada. Keeping your teeth free from cavities and your gums free from disease is part of good overall health. Poor oral health can contribute to diabetes, heart disease and respiratory conditions. The mouth is the portal to the whole body and must be kept disease free and healthy.

One of the wonderful things about water fluoridation is that it benefits all residents throughout their entire lifetime. This is very important for families with low income as they may not be able to access regular dental care. Fluoride in the water will prevent or reduce tooth decay in adults as well as children. As people get older, we see more decay on the roots of their teeth and the fluoridated water will help prevent this. People who cannot afford dental care go to emergency rooms for treatment of tooth pain. Emergency room visits cost the health care system time and money. Health Canada estimates 2.26 million school days and 4.14 million workdays are lost to oral health issues every year. The cost to put fluoride in the Red Deer water is about 80 cents per person per year. Not taking health benefits into account and considering money alone, fluoride is a good decision. Combine that with the widely accepted benefits to oral health- fluoridation is not just a good decision but the right decision.

Let’s keep the citizens of Red Deer smiling with healthy teeth and bodies.

The Central Alberta Dental Hygiene Study Club

Robin Lutz RDH Chanell Stayer RDH

Kristi Douglas RDH Tracey Smith RDH

Quadelle Rose RDH Irma Gordey RDH

Robyn Morton RDH Yvonne Thorvaldson RDH

Karla Tataryn RDG Lisa Serhan RDH

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