Canadian experts stand up for water fluoridation

    OTTAWA and TORONTO, Aug. 7 /CNW/ - The Canadian Dental Association (CDA),
Health Canada's Chief Dental Officer, the Ontario Dental Association (ODA),
the Ontario Association of Public Health Dentistry (OAPHD), Toronto Public
Health and the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) are
standing up for water fluoridation today, telling the country it's safe and
urging people to get the facts about this important health-care issue.
    "Canada has one of the best systems in the world to ensure water quality.
Health Canada supports water fluoridation as a public health measure to
prevent dental decay. Dental disease is the number one chronic disease among
children and adolescents in North America; fluoridation can therefore be an
important public health measure," said Health Canada's Chief Dental Officer,
Dr. Peter Cooney. "The big advantage of water fluoridation is that it benefits
all residents in a community, regardless of age, socioeconomic status,
education, or employment."
    The Canadian Dental Association couldn't agree more.
    "Water fluoridation is one of the greatest preventative measures we have
in the war against dental decay," said CDA President Dr. Deborah Stymiest.
"There is clear evidence that fluoride helps natural tooth enamel
remineralize. Jurisdictions around the world support water fluoridation - as
do we - and it is important that everyone understands the facts and the
benefits of fluoride."

    Some of the international experts who agree with Canadian experts on water

    -   Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia states:
           "The CDC has recognized the fluoridation of drinking water to
            prevent dental decay as one of the 10 great public health
            achievements of the 20th century."

    -   The U.S. Surgeon General states:
           "Community water fluoridation continues to be the most cost
            effective, equitable and safe means to provide protection from
            tooth decay in a community."

    -   The World Health Organization (WHO) states:
           "That universal access to fluoride for dental health is a part of
            the basic human right to life."

    At a symposium sponsored by the ODA entitled "Designing Dental Programs
for High-Risk Children," at the International Association of Dental Research
held in Toronto recently, a panel of experts from around the world agreed that
water fluoridation is essential in preventative care.
    "Water fluoridation helps prevent tooth decay - it's just that simple,"
says Hamilton-based ODA President Dr. Larry Levin. "I see it in my office all
the time - water fluoridation is something kids need from a very early age -
adults need it too. It's safe, preventative care that will help for life."

    Supportive Quotes:

    Ontario Association of Public Health Dentistry's Dr. Dick Ito:

    "The Ontario Association of Public Health Dentistry supports the
fluoridation of municipal drinking water. It recommends water fluoridation as
a safe, effective and economical public health measure to prevent dental
caries in all age groups."

    Toronto Public Health's Dr. Hazel Stewart:

    "Fluoridated water is the safest and most equitable way of improving oral
health for Torontonians of all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds."

    Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario:

    "Community water fluoridation at appropriate levels is the cornerstone of
a critical dental public health program that benefits the whole continuum of
our population, from children to the middle-aged and older adults too."

For further information:

For further information: Health Canada Media Relations - p. (613)
957-2983; Beth Keeping, Canadian Dental Association - p. (800) 267-6354; Kari
Cuss, Ontario Dental Association - p. (416) 355-2278, c. (647) 294-7613; Dr.
Dick Ito, Ontario Association of Public Health Dentistry - p. (705) 721-7520
ext. 7205; Susan Sperling, Toronto Public Health - p. (416) 338-7974; Irwin
Fefergrad, Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario - p. (416) 934-5625

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