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UK Against Fluoridation

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Canada - Health Unit calls on Windsor, Essex County municipalities to add fluoride to water supply

The Windsor and Essex County Health Unit is calling on Windsor and Essex County municipalities to put fluoride in their municipal water systems, citing overwhelming community support and worsening trends for local children’s oral health.
“School screening results demonstrate that children in Windsor-Essex County have greater oral health needs compared to the province and that the oral health of children in Windsor-Essex has worsened over the time period examined by this report,” says a report covering five years going to county council Wednesday night.
“These trends warrant concern and increased efforts to prevent poor oral health among youth in our region.”
Between 2011/12 and 2016/17, the percentage of local children with tooth decay or oral issues requiring urgent care has increased by 51 per cent, according to the report. More than 18,000 children from 119 schools were screened for oral health issues in the 2016/17 school year. The number of local children with “urgent dental needs” was two times the provincial average.
Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health for Windsor and Essex County, said the most striking statistic in the report was the rate at which local children get cavities, measured by the DMFT index, which stands for decayed/missing/filled permanent teeth.
Grade 2 students scored 2.2 in that category in 2011/12 but were up to 2.6 in 2016/17. Scores for students in JK rose from 0.7 to 1.1 and results for students in SK rose from 1.3 to 1.9.
“It’s a very severe problem,” said Ahmed. “Seeing those high numbers is a concern.”
No Essex County municipality currently adds fluoride to the municipal water supply. Windsor stopped adding fluoride to its system in 2013, which also affected residents living in Lasalle and Tecumseh.
The health unit is calling on municipalities to add fluoride to their water systems, boost support for oral health education and improve access to oral health services. The health unit has previously called on the province to make it mandatory for municipalities to add fluoride to their water systems.
The health unit’s report was called “sobering” in a letter to council drafted by several area dentists, some of whom will address council Wednesday night.
“We are here to be witnesses to the severity of the oral health problems in our community,” says a letter signed by Dr. Alex Meriano, Dr. Amy Durocher, Dr. James Starr, Dr. Richard Tann and Dr. Anne Young. “The health unit report is sobering. It has identified Windsor-Essex County to have a tooth decay rate two times that of any other comparable city in Ontario.”
The health unit study maintains four out of five Windsor and Essex County residents favour community fluoridation and Ahmed urged area residents to read the report and monitor the debate on this issue.
“We want the community to be engaged,” he said. “The community needs to be aware of what these health issues are.”
For Windsor-Essex, the report also found that:
  • Nearly 1 in 4 residents report having no dental insurance coverage
  • Just over 1 in 10 households took their child to a dentist before their first birthday
  • There is an average of 921 emergency department visits annually for problems related to oral health costing $508,259
  • About four in five residents support community water fluoridation
If the community was engaged and people were aware of both sides of the argument four in five would oppose fluoridation.


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