Research shows water fluoridation is safe for children – UQ News

Research from the University of Queensland found no link between community water fluoridation and adverse effects on children’s brain development.

Professor Loc Do of UQ School of Dentistry said the study looked at the difference between brain development and function of children who had been exposed to fluoridated water in early childhood compared with those who had not.

“We found that emotional and behavioral development, and functions such as memory and self-control, were at least equivalent to those who were not exposed to fluoridated water,” said Professor Do .

“In other words, there was no difference in child development and function related to fluoridated water.

“This finding shows that the consumption of water containing fluoride at the levels used for public supplies in Australia is safe and supports the continuation and expansion of fluoridation programs.”

Currently around 90% of the Australian population has access to fluoridated water, although in Queensland the percentage is 71%.

Many regional areas of Queensland and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are not covered by a fluoridation program.

“A small, vocal group of people sometimes claim that water fluoridation can have adverse effects on neurodevelopment, especially in young children,” Professor Do said.

“This concern may impact community and public health support for the practice, but our research provides reassurance that it is safe and supports its expansion into more communities.

“This is an important message as fluoride is extremely effective in preventing tooth decay and its use in water and toothpaste is credited with significant improvements in the dental health of children in Australia.”

Tooth decay (also known as tooth decay or tooth decay) is the most common chronic childhood disease in the world. It causes pain and infection and can lead to tooth extraction.

The UQ study followed children participating in the Australian National Children’s Oral Health Study 2012-2014 when they were aged 12-17.

It measured their emotional and behavioral development using a Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and executive brain function using the Behavioral Assessment of Executive Function Inventory – two instruments widely used in population health surveys.

The study was funded by a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council Project, and it is a collaboration between the University of Queensland, the University of Adelaide and the University of Western Australia in Australia , as well as the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

The study is published in the Journal of Dental Research.

Media: Professor Loc Do, [email protected], +61 (0)402 840 837; UQ Communications, Bridget Druery, [email protected]+61 (0)435 221 246, @UQHealth

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