Several Bega Valley dentists have spoken out against water fluoridation in a meeting with Bega Valley Shire Councillors.
On Monday, at a meeting run by Clean Water for Life attended by Crs Cathy Griff, Mitchell Nadin and Jo Dodds, they discussed what they saw as the dangers of fluoride.
Senior adviser to the Fluoride Action Network Professor Paul Connett also attended where he claimed there was only weak evidence that swallowing fluoride lowered tooth decay.
He said cases of tooth decay have been decreasing as fast in non-fluoridated countries as in fluoridated countries.
“As the standard of living goes up, tooth decay goes down,” he said.
Professor Connett said once governments put fluoride in water supplies they cannot control the dose or who it goes to. He said doing so violated an individual’s right to informed consent.
“Taking fluoride out at a tap is expensive and low income families can’t afford it,” he said.
He said over 300 animal and human studies had been done that showed fluoride was neurotoxic and while they were not “100 per cent perfect” they were still red flags that should make governments question whether to use the mineral in water supplies.
But he believed fluoridated toothpaste was fine to use.
“The risks come from swallowing it, the benefits come from applying it to your teeth,” he said.
Bega Valley dentist Maria Claudianos also gave a presentation on her research into fluoride.
“It’s reckless as you can’t control how much a person takes on a daily basis,” she said.
She said 50 per cent of the fluoride you ingest is absorbed into the body and if you take too much you can develop dental or skeletal fluorosis.
Dentist David Stern has worked in the Bega area for the last 17 years and said he has not observed any difference in rates of tooth decay for children or adults in regards to whether they live in fluoridated or non-fluoridated parts of the shire.
Another local dentist, Karl Weinberger, echoed this statement saying he had worked as a dentist for the last 26 years in different states around Australia and he had not seen any difference in rates of tooth decay between such areas.
“I’ve seen more cases of dental fluorisis in fluoridated areas,” he said.
Cr Griff said the presentation had raised serious doubts for her about the safety of fluoride.
The submission period on the proposal to fluoridate the shire’s water supplies has been extended to April 7. To comment, visit www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au and scroll down to “Have Your Say”.