Ontario Dental Association Supports Water Fluoridation in Thunder Bay

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MEDIA RELEASE
July 20, 2009

Water fluoridation is an imperative preventative measure for lifelong good health

Thunder Bay, ON – The Ontario Dental Association (ODA) encourages members of Thunder Bay City Council to improve the health of their citizens by voting in support of the implementation of water fluoridation for their community.
In a press conference this afternoon, Dr. Ira Kirshen, ODA President, urged both citizens and politicians to get the facts on fluoride from informed medical experts.

“There is no debate – community water fluoridation is the most cost-effective and safe way to prevent tooth decay,” said Dr.Kirshen. “As a dentist, I see the pain and suffering people with poor oral health experience; as a father, I would never promote anything that would expose my children to harm.”

In response to increasing rates of tooth decay in the region, in 2007 the Thunder Bay District Board of Health made recommendations to City Council on improving the oral health of its citizens, one of which was adding fluoride to the public water supply.

The ODA’s interest in Thunder Bay City Council’s pending decision stems from a Special Report it released last November, Tooth Decay in Ontario’s Children: An Ounce of Prevention – A Pound of Cure. In the report, a group of experts from around the world agreed that water fluoridation is essential in preventative care.

“In over 30 years of practice in Thunder Bay, I have seen firsthand the staggering effects of tooth decay,” said local dentist Dr. Peter DeGiacomo. “Kids need all the help they can get in life, and we owe it to each and every one of them to ensure they get proper preventative care.”

Dr. Kirshen cited numerous independent studies from around the world that confirm the benefits and safety of public water fluoridation:
  • In a 2007 Health Canada report, a panel of independent medical experts concluded that water fluoridation, in the correct amount, is both safe and effective.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages the continuation and expansion of community water fluoridation and identifies it as “one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.”
  • The U.S. Surgeon General also agrees: “Community water fluoridation continues to be the most cost-effective, equitable and safe means to provide protection from tooth decay in a community.

The cost of adding fluoride to regional drinking water is minimal when compared to the large costs of reparative dental surgery for children and adults living without fluoridation,” said Dr. Kirshen. “The ODA is saying to the citizens and council of Thunder Bay that it’s time to stand up for water fluoridation – it’s important to your family and your community.”

Recent city council decisions south of the border have highlighted the importance of community water fluoridation. In the fall of 2007, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California implemented water fluoridation, providing fluoridated water to 10 million people in the United States – making it the single largest expansion of fluoridation ever. In June 2008, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to implement fluoridation by 2010. Prior to this decision, San Diego was the largest nonfluoridated city in the United States.

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For Further Information

Bonnie Dean, Public Affairs & Communications, (416) 922-3900, ext. 3305, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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