N.B. Dental Society says no fluoride in Moncton’s water supply will lead to longer wait times
Frustration is growing among dentists in Moncton after the city council voted on Monday to not to reintroduce fluoride to the city’s drinking water supply.
“We were all very disappointed in the decision,” said the president-elect of the New Brunswick Dental Society Dr. Suzanne Drapeau-McNally.
She says with no fluoride in the water, tooth decay will continue to rise and that will increase wait times for kids in need of complex tooth decay treatment.
“People you will just have to wait. We will continue to do our work,” Drapeau-McNally said.
She says wait times for children in need of specialized dental care and sedation during treatment have already increased from four months five years ago to a year.
Moncton ended fluoride use in 2011.
Drapeau-McNally said councillors did not base their decision on sound science and they shouldn’t be making medical decisions for residents.
“I was embarrassed on how they spoke to us. we are the specialists in the field of tooth decay and they were telling us the importance of flossing and I realize the people we need to educate are these politicians,” she said.
Before Monday night’s vote, Councillor Shawn Crossman had said he would vote against restoring fluoride to the water.
He told The Canadian Press that he had spent the last seven months reading studies and listening to the public, and hasn’t seen any evidence to prove that fluoride prevents tooth decay.
“There’s nothing there that says fluoride is stopping tooth decay, absolutely nothing,” he said.
WATCH: How does removing fluoride from drinking water affect kids?
According to New Brunswick’s acting medical officer of health, Dr. Jennifer Russell, “the safety of water fluoridation continues to be supported by current science and, when water is fluoridated at optimum levels, it does not cause adverse health effects.”
But the federal and provincial governments only set guidelines for fluoridation, the decision to use fluoride is left up to municipalities.
Council’s decision to say no to fluoride is supported by pharmacist Peter Ford of Moncton who says it can have negative health effects.
“I have some reservations on the use of fluoride because it is a medicine in our drinking water and I think that people should have a choice of whether or not they want to take fluoride,” said Ford.
He says until the dental society and the province can conduct a formal study linking the rise in tooth decay to the omission of fluoride in the water, the safest option is to leave it out
But Drapeau-McNally says she doesn’t need a study to prove something she already knows.
“Why spend money? she said. “The facts are there.”
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