The ODA applauds decision to keep fluoride in Toronto's drinking water

Toronto Board of Health accepts the recommendation of Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, experts

TORONTO, April 6 /CNW/ - The Ontario Dental Association (ODA) is praising the Toronto Board of Health for its vote on April 4, 2011 to keep fluoride in the city's drinking water and for following the recommendation of its Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David McKeown.

"Water fluoridation is a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay - it's just that simple," said Toronto-based ODA President, Dr. Lynn Tomkins. "I'm glad that the board based their decision on sound science and research that support water fluoridation - this is great news for the health of all Torontonians."

Dr. Tomkins was one of many medical and dental experts who addressed the board at the April 4 meeting. Presentations were also given by the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry Department of Paediatric Dentistry, the Ontario Dental Hygienists' Association and the Ontario Association of Public Health Dentistry.

The group presented numerous scientific studies and research supporting the use of fluoride in drinking water to prevent tooth decay. They urged the board to continue the 48-year policy of water fluoridation, saying it saves millions of dollars in public health costs and protects those who might not have access to dental health care, such as the elderly and low-income families.

Dr. Arlene King, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, spoke during the meeting and also issued a news release in support of the public health practice. According to the statement, Dr. King is "very concerned about the loss of fluoridated drinking water in certain communities in spite of consistent evidence that water fluoridation is safe and effective."

"Just look at what happened in Dorval, Quebec, when they removed fluoride from the water in 2003 - the percentage of kindergarten children at high risk of developing dental caries doubled," said Dr. Tomkins. "I'm relieved that we helped to ensure the best possible oral health for the children of Toronto."

SOURCE Ontario Dental Association

For further information:

Brian Kellow
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
416 355-2265

Bonnie Dean
Communications Specialist
416-922-3900, ext. 3314

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