Regina city council voted 10-1 in favour of adding fluoride to the city’s drinking water on Wednesday evening.
The motion received overwhelming support from the Saskatchewan Public Health Authority, Saskatchewan College of Dentistry and no less than 75 dentists in Regina.
“They told us that this was good for citizens in terms of dental health, not just for children but for lifelong dental health to prevent cavities and tooth decay, and so we think it’s a reasonable investment for really profound outcomes,” Regina Mayor, Sandra Masters said.
According to dentistry professionals, community water fluoridation has several benefits to the general public.
“It’s effective, safe, proven, develops health equity, and it’s cost-effective,” College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan Registrar, Gerry Uswak said.
“At about a dollar per person per year, there is no cheaper preventative modality,” he said.
“Community fluoridation has a big impact on the most vulnerable populations in our communities, for those who face access to care barriers and cannot go and see a dentist, so it brings health equity,” Uswak said.
It will still be a while though before Regina residents can expect their drinking water to have fluoride in it.
“Once the Buffalo Pound water rehabilitation is done, fluoride will be in the water as of 2025,” said Masters.
In the end, politicians and dentistry professionals alike are pleased with the final decision.
“The residents of Regina will have the same benefits from community water fluoridation as folks from Saskatoon and other communities do, so no pun intended, this was a watershed moment for community water fluoridation in the province,” said Uswak.
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