Community Water Fluoridation

Position Statement on Community Water Fluoridation

July 2017

 

Purpose
This document presents the Quality Improvement Group for Māori Oral Health Providers’ position on community water fluoridation. This Position Statement is evidence-based and supported by current literature (see Appendix); it will be reviewed annually and updated in light of new evidence.

 
It is expected that this Position Statement will be considered by local government bodies and District Health Boards when making decisions about community water fluoridation.


Quality Improvement Group for Māori Oral Health Providers (Quality Improvement Group)
The Quality Improvement Group is a board comprising oral health practitioners from the Māori oral health provider sector.  It was established by the Ministry of Health to provide advice about improving the oral health sector and, ultimately, the oral health of Māori people.


Position Statement

The Quality Improvement Group endorses community water fluoridation as it is a practical, effective, and safe means of protecting teeth and improving the oral health of all Māori.

Specifically:

 

  • Community water fluoridation at levels optimal for protecting teeth leads to oral health gains and improvement in health and well-being for all Māori, or all ages;

  • Evidence clearly demonstrates that tamariki Māori who live without community water fluoridation experience significantly more decay and receive more fillings than tamariki Māori living with community water fluoridation;

  • Evidence also demonstrates that community water fluoridation at levels optimal (range 0.7-1.0ppm) for protecting teeth and improving oral health is a safe health practice;
  • By improving Māori oral health and reducing oral health inequalities, educational achievement, sustained employment and other beneficial social outcomes are improved; consequently, community water fluoridation contributes to improving overall health and well-being for all Māori;

  • It is endorsed by numerous New Zealand and international health authorities including Te Ao Marama (the New Zealand Māori Dental Association), New Zealand Ministry of Health, Public Health Association of New Zealand, World Health Organization and the International Dental Federation.


The Quality Improvement Group acknowledges that:

  • Community water fluoridation is one measure in a range of strategies needed to address oral health inequities, and protect and improve Māori oral health status;

  • Fluoridation of community water supplies contributes to total fluoride intake, which in turn may contribute to fluorosis.  Fluorosis can be prevented by using the minimum optimal level of fluoride in the drinking water. In NZ, there have been no reports of serious fluorosis.
     

The Quality Improvement Group affirms it will:

  • Advocate to continue community water fluoridation or implement it where it is absent (if technically possible);

  • Reinforce the oral health benefits of community water fluoridation by endorsing recommendations concerning healthy kai; continued effort on improving equity of access to oral health services for pēpi, tamariki, rangatahi, pakeke, and kaumatua Māori; promoting regular dental check-ups; endorsing the application of fluoride varnish and use of fluoride mouth rinses where appropriate; and good oral health care practices in the home, including the use of fluoridated toothpaste;

  • Continue to monitor and evaluate the evidence on community water fluoridation and its impact on Māori oral health status.

 

Adopted by the Quality Improvement Group on 24 July 2017

 

Sugar Intake, 2017.

Position Statement on Free Sugars Intake

July 2017

Purpose

This document presents the Quality Improvement Group for Māori Oral Health Providers’ position on sugars intake.  This Position Statement is evidence-based and supported by current literature (see Appendix); it will be reviewed annually and updated in light of new evidence. 

Quality Improvement Group for Māori Oral Health Providers (Quality Improvement Group)

The Quality Improvement Group is a board comprising oral health practitioners from the Māori oral health provider sector.  It was established by the Ministry of Health to provide advice about improving the oral health sector and, ultimately, the oral health of Māori people.

 

Position Statement

The Quality Improvement Group supports strategies, policies, and initiatives that will eliminate the harm of sugars on the oral health and well-being of Māori.

The Quality Improvement Group:

Acknowledges that sugars, also known as free sugars, is a key risk factor for dental caries and that reducing the consumption of sugars is one measure in a range of strategies to protect teeth and improve oral health. 

Endorses the World Health Organization recommendations to reduce the intake of sugars to 10% of total energy intake, and for further reduction in risk of dental caries to less than 5% total energy intake, throughout the life course.

Supports, and affirms it will advocate for, strategies and policies that reduce the availability and access to, and promotion and consumption of, kai and beverages containing sugars, particularly sugar-sweetened beverages; and encourages the availability and access to, and promotion and consumption of, healthy kai and beverages. 

Reinforces the oral health benefits of such strategies and policies by endorsing recommendations for community water fluoridation, and the appropriate use of other protective measures including fluoridated toothpastes, and where indicated, fluoridated mouth rinses and varnishes; continued effort on improving equity of access to oral health services for pēpi, tamariki, rangatahi, pakeke, and kaumatua Māori, and the promotion of regular dental check-ups and good oral health care practices in the home.

Will monitor and evaluate the impact of sugars, and strategies to reduce their consumption, on oral and general health.

 

Adopted by the Quality Improvement Group on 24 July 2017

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© 2017 MOHQIG

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Maori Oral Health

Quality Improvement Group

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