Tooth decay and fluoride
67 per cent of Queensland children have experienced tooth decay by eight years of age.
Every year, around 2000 pre-schoolers need to be hospitalised for severe dental decay.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound found in water, plants, rocks, soil, air and foods.
Topping up fluoride levels in water can reduce the risk of dental decay by up to 40 per cent.
Prior to 2008, only five per cent of Queenslanders had access to fluoridated drinking water while other states and territories have been fluoridated for 30–50 years.
The Department of Health no longer recommends the routine use of fluoride supplements, as they do not provide the same health benefit as fluoridated water, and may increase the risk of dental fluorosis.