This week marks one year since fluoride was removed from the drinking water in Windsor, LaSalle and Tecumseh.
At the time, the Windsor Essex County Health Unit attempted to reassure members of Windsor city council that fluoridation was safe, while warning of an increase in tooth decay in the general population. The manager of oral health, Rosemary Arsenault predicted a 28% increase in fluoride treatments costing the health unit tens of thousands of dollars.
Medical officer of health Dr.Allen Heimann says the true cost of council’s decision just isn’t known yet. “It will take years for the changes to be known,” he says. “It’s something that certainly (we would) expect will adversely affect the dental health of the community.”
Meanwhile, Heimann is glad the provincial government is expanding its Healthy Smiles program, although he says it’s too soon to say how the health unit will benefit from the announcement. Healthy Smiles provides dental coverage to children under the age of 17 in low-income families.