April 22, 2019

Archives for December 2009

Quiñonez & Locker, Public Opinions On Community Water Fluoridation

Background: Community water fluoridation (CWF) is currently experiencing social resistance in Canada. Petitions have been publicly registered, municipal plebiscites have occurred, and media attention is growing. There is now concern among policy leaders whether the practice is acceptable to Canadians. As a result, this study asks: What are public opinions on CWF?

Methods: Data were collected in April 2008 from 1,005 Canadian adults by means of a national telephone interview survey using random digit dialling and computer-assisted telephone interview technology. Descriptive and bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were undertaken.

Results: Approximately 1 in 2 Canadian adults surveyed knew about CWF. Of these, 80% understood its intended use, approximately 60% believed that it was both safe and effective, and 62% supported the idea of having fluoride added to their local drinking water. Those with greater incomes [OR=1.4; p<0.001] and education [OR=1.6; p<0.001] were more likely to know about CWF. Those with greater incomes [OR=1.3; p<0.03] and those who visited the dentist more frequently [OR=1.8; p<0.002] were more likely to support CWF, and those with children [OR=0.5; p<0.02], those who accessed dental care using public insurance [OR=0.2; p<0.03], and those who avoided fluoride [OR=0.04; p<0.001] were less likely to support CWF.

Conclusion: It appears that Canadians still support CWF. In moving forward, policy leaders will need to attend to two distinct challenges: the influence of anti-fluoride sentiment, and the potential risks created by avoiding fluoride.

Quiñonez & Locker, Public Opinions On Community Water Fluoridation, Canadian Public Health Association, 2009 100(2) 96-100

Ekstrand et al, Factors Associated with Inter-Municipality Differences in Dental Caries Experience Among Danish Adolescents


Background: Caries on children and adolescents in Denmark has declined significantly over the last 30 years. Our first analysis in 1999, however, disclosed huge inter-municipality disparities in mean DMFS values as well as in prevalence of caries on Danish children; that fluoride in the water supply and the length of the education of the mothers could explain up to 45% of the above-mentioned disparity and that very few municipalities were positive outliers, i.e. were providing significant better caries results than expected from the background variables. Three of the aims of this second analysis were to repeat the analyses done on the 1999 sample, but now on a 2004 sample and then compare it with the results from 1999. A fourth aim was by means of an interview of CDOs to determine their interpretation of relevant conditions in the public dental health service in relation dental health outcome.

Methods: A total of 204 (99%) and 191 (93%) municipalities were involved in 1999 and 2004, respectively. Unit of analysis were the municipalities. Mean DMFS of 15-year-olds was used as outcome variable. Eight background variables were accounted for during the analysis: For the fourth aim, a sample of CDOs representing municipalities with positive (n = 10), with no change (n = 10), or with negative change (n = 10) in mean DMFS, relative to all municipalities, between 1999 and 2004 was selected.

Results: The inter-municipality variation in mean DMFS 1999 was 0.88 to 8.73 and in 2004 was 0.56 to 6.19. The analyses found that fluoride level of the drinking water and mothers’ length of education were significant variables explaining about 44% of the variations in mean DMFS in both years. Only one municipality was characterized as a positive outlier in 1999 as well as in 2004. The dose-response relations between increasing fluoride concentrations in the water supply and DMF-S values diminished in both years at a level above 0.35 ppm. The structured interview disclosed that municipalities with significant improvement in mean DMFS from 1999 to 2004 had established goals and were committed to the prevention of dental caries at the individual level. Instability in manpower; number of children in the service and economy was associated to municipalities with negative changes in caries experience.

Ekstrand et al, Factors Associated With Inter-Municipality Differences In Dental Caries Experience Among Danish Adolescents, An Ecological Study – Community Dentistry And Oral Epidemiology 2009

No fluoride says Thunder Bay’s municipal council

By: tbnewswatch.com, 29-Dec-2009, Thunder Bay, Ontario — Thunder Bay’s municipal drinking water received a great deal of attention this year.

Residents began to pay closer attention as a Thunder Bay District Health Unit campaign to put fluoride in the drinking water gained momentum. While numerous health officials championed the idea, putting fluoride into the city’s drinking water couldn’t escape controversy and becomes tbnewswatch.com’s eighth top news story of 2009.

City council ended the fluoride debate in July with a 6-5 vote against a resolution to study the fluoridation of Thunder Bay’s water. Had council not voted against the resolution, the issue could have went back to citizens in the form of a plebiscite.

“We can educate people on nutrition, proper oral care … those are the steps that I’m prepared to take first,” Coun. Trevor Giertuga said just before he and his fellow councillors voted. “I personally don’t want (fluoride) in my water.”

“My issue is the 2-million pounds of (fluoride) being washed through our system with only one per cent being consumed by the public,” said Mayor Lynn Peterson. “The rest being flushed into the Great Lakes.”

Councillors who voted against studying the fluoridation of the drinking water believed they were on the side of public perception.

But during that night in council chambers, it became clear that the politicians were not on the side of the health officials attending the meeting.

“I sit here dumbfounded that you don’t listen to the experts that you hire,” Dr. Frank Stechey, Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario president, told council. “Your public health officials are telling you this (fluoridating water) is the way to go.”

Council concluded that marathon meeting at 2:40 a.m., but the debate about the fluoridation of drinking water continued long after that.