Merilyn Haines, the director of the newly formed group FAN-Australia (Fluoride Action Network Australia), has found some startling statistics buried deep in official research material by ARCPOH (The Australian Research Centre Population Oral Health at the Adelaide Dental School) that could scuttle the water fluoridation program once and for all.
Haines has found in the ARCPOH statistics that the permanent teeth of children in largely unfluoridated (<5% before 2009) Queensland were erupting on average two years earlier than the children in the rest of Australia, which is largely fluoridated (see the figure below).
A two-year delay would negate all the small reductions in tooth decay claimed by dental researchers since 1990. In other words fluoridation doesn’t work. Any difference in tooth decay claimed to be due to fluoride is simply an artefact of the delayed eruption caused by fluoride.
Source – Published and unpublished data from 2003- 2004 Australian Child Dental Health Surveys (unpublished data obtained by Freedom of Information application).
According to Professor Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network, who is currently on a fluoride-tour of New Zealand, “Critics of fluoridation, like Dr. Hardy Limeback in Toronto, have long pointed out that any reduced tooth decay touted by promoters could easily be accounted for by the delayed eruption of the teeth.
"Even when this argument received strong experimental support from Komarek et al. in 2005, this has still has been ignored by those promoting fluoridation. But they cannot ignore it any longer: the figures of the dental department research team most associated with the promotion of fluoridation in Australia (and beyond) demonstrate that this delay is real.
Less teeth erupted for any given age would mean less surfaces available for tooth decay to have taken place. A delayed eruption of one – two years would account for the small reductions claimed in all the US and Australian studies published since 1990.
These studies have found reductions ranging from 0.12 of one permanent tooth surfaces saved in Western Australia to 0.6 permanent tooth surface saved in the largest survey ever conducted in the US.
This is not very much when you consider that there are five surfaces to the chewing teeth and four to the cutting teeth, and by the time all the child’s teeth have erupted there are a total of 128 tooth surfaces. One tooth surface saved amounts to less than 1% of all the surfaces in a child’s mouth. Now even this small benefit has evaporated.