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Draft NHMRC Information Paper: Effects of water fluoridation on dental and other health outcomes submission

ID: 
12
This submission reflects the views of
Organisation Name: 
Australian Dental Association (NSW Branch) Limited
Personal Details
Specific Questions
Q1. A) Is the draft Information Paper presented in a manner that is easy to understand? : 
Neutral
Q1. B) Please provide details regarding your response to Question 1A: 
Introduction

Page 6.

 ADA NSW recommends including a commentary on how the percentages of population with access to fluoridated water were derived in Figure 1. The heading to Figure 1 needs to be reworded accordingly to reflect this.

Evaluating the evidence

Page 20. Last Paragraph

 ADA NSW believes the 2007 Public Statement needs to be updated in light of the current review. ADA NSW  recommends a review of the optimal range for water fluoridation in the Australian context, given that in 2015 the U.S. Public Health Service updated their guidance and currently recommends an optimal fluoride concentration of 0.7 milligrams/liter (mg/L) in drinking water for the prevention of dental caries. The 2007 Public Statement should be updated after NHMRC reviews the current recommended optimal range for water fluoridation in the Australian context.

Water Fluoridation and any other health effects

Page 37. Summary

 “There is insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion about any association between water fluoridation at current Australian levels” and the diseases stated.

ADA NSW accepts that scientific documents have to be written in a specific way. However, Page 2  states that this information paper is also for “ people who are interested in knowing about the effects of adding fluoride to drinking water”. Given that this will be a document used by the public would NHMRC consider replacing these words with “the current limited evidence suggests no association between water fluoridation and disease X” or something along these lines in plain language. ADA NSW is concerned that these findings in the current language may not be understood or misconstrued by the general public.

 

 

 

Q2. A) Is it clear how NHMRC reviewed the health and dental effects of water fluoridation? : 
Agree
Q3. A) Is the Fluoride Reference Group’s interpretation of the evidence clearly described in the draft Information Paper?: 
Agree
Q3. B) Please provide details regarding your response to Question 3A: 

Australian Dental Association NSW commends the National Health and Medical Research Council for continuing to acknowledge the importance of water fluoridation and conducting the 2016 NHMRC Evidence Evaluation to update the science on water fluoridation. ADA NSW welcomes the findings in the comprehensive Draft Information Paper: Effects of Water Fluoridation on dental and other health outcomes.

Q4. Is there additional evidence on the dental effects of water fluoridation that should be considered?: 

Potentially preventable hospitalisations for tooth decay and water fluoridation

Q5. Is there additional evidence on any other health effects of water fluoridation that should be considered in the draft Information Paper?: 

Whether true allergy to fluoride exist given that many people “claim” to be allergic to fluoride.
Impact of water fluoridation on the pituitary gland

Q6. Is there any other supporting material relevant to making decisions on water fluoridation in the Australian context that should be considered in the draft Information Paper?: 

ADA NSW strongly recommends that NHMRC reviews the current recommended optimal range for water fluoridation in the Australian context given that in 2015 the U.S. Public Health Service updated their guidance and currently recommends an optimal fluoride concentration of 0.7 milligrams/liter (mg/L) in drinking water for the prevention of dental caries.

ADA NSW believes that it would be useful to report on the percentage of population on reticulated water supply having access to fluoridated water for each jurisdiction.

Page reviewed: 4 July, 2017