Monday, 16 July 2012

Cairns Post Letters from the Wingnuts #12 (Older questions)

It wasn't just the climate change deniers and knockers of the International Coral Reef Symposium that stained the Letters to the Editor page last Thursday. Our anti-fluoridation group hanful of wingnuts also popped up. Des Brisbane from Gordonvale asked:
One aspect of the fluoridation debate I haven't seen mentioned is who, exactly, will it benefit
Perhaps you should have actually tried looking. The answer is everyone. Children will benefit the most, but adults will gain some dental benefit directly. They may also get some other health benefits, though the evidence there is less strong. Adults will also benefit from reduced societal costs from dental treatment and associated medical conditions. The cost of fluoridation is outweighed by the money it saves.
(assuming there is scientific evidence that it does so)?
There is. See the National Health and Medical Research Council's report A Systematic Review of the Efficacy and Safety of Fluoridation.
Is there a maximum age to which fluoride treatment will aid dental development?
Yes, it ceases to be of benefit to dental development when your teeth stop developing. But fluoridation will have some benefit to everyone. See above.
If so, what is the cut off point, and what proportion of the population do they represent? Will fluoride be of any use to oldies like myself?
Yes. See above.
If the potential benefit is zero, but there is any health risk whatsoever, why should we be forced to take that risk?
The weight of evidence shows that potential benefit is not zero, and the risk is minimal (mild fluorisis that generally won't be noticable except by dental exam).
If it can only help the young, wouldn't it be more effictive for the government to specifically target them, with free fluoride tablets made available to all parents of young children, as is done with immunisations?
Fluoridation doesn't just help the young, and alternatives such as fluoridation tablets will not be effective from a public health perspective. You simply won't get the fluoride to all of those that need it. Most parents will not go to the trouble of getting and administering all those tablets.

No comments :

Post a Comment