The Teeth for Health program: Fluoridation of NSW community water supplies with populations of more than 1000(NSW_Program # 1)
Aims or brief descriptions: Fluoridation of unfluoridated
(largely rural) communities via shire councils and water authorities.
Since July 2004, NSW Health has fully funded fluoridation capital works.
Using scientific and health data a case is presented to councils on why water fluoridation is important. As the decision can be politicised, efforts are made to help confine it to a health issue. As an indicator of local public opinion on the subject, a continuous state-wide attitudinal survey on fluoridation has been conducted since 2005. As the sample size increases each quarter by some 1300 respondents, the survey is gaining increasing validity at local government level. In some cases, other surveys have been funded to assist councillors better understand their constituents’ views on water fluoridation. In all cases, the majority of the population support water fluoridation (at state level, more than 80 per cent).
Councils eventually take a vote on the matter and since 2004, some 20 councils have voted in favour and less than four have voted against it (some, for infrastructure reasons).
Teeth for Health provides support and information to councils prior to, during and following the public consultation phase.
Reports or publications from project:
Fluoride, Smile it’s Natural – brochure
Involved organisations: NSW Health, local governments in rural NSW
Website link: www.fluoridenow.com.au
Access to fluorides in small communities(NSW_Program # 2)
Aims or brief descriptions: To encourage tooth-brushing with
fluoride toothpaste in small, disadvantaged communities by linking to economic
development to encourage sustainability.
This is a pilot project that has just started and a health impact assessment (HIA) was completed prior to commencement. The HIA will be made available once the final report has been received.
Baseline oral health assessments have been completed.
Reports or publications from project: Nil
Involved organisations: NSW Health; Warrumbungle Shire Council; Inverell Shire Council
Website link: www.fluoridenow.com.au (will soon have the community project included).
The Queensland government announced its water fluoridation program in 2008 and since then been fluoridating its water supplies. Thier website provides information on the stages of fluoridation and other information on the program.