When confronted with statistics such as 34,000 Kiwi children having teeth removed before their 14th birthday, it's pretty clear the state of kids' oral health is in a bad way.

Those in the dental profession are the first to admit that putting fluoride into the water isn't likely to be a fix-all solution. It must be combined with education, good brushing habits and a change in what we let our kids eat and drink. But it is a step in the right direction.

Full credit to the Government for taking steps to take it out of local councils' hands and give the decision to the health boards.

Without doubt they'll face strong opposition from those who see it as mass medicating.


Those opposed are a passionate bunch who are skilled at getting their point across.

Call me uninformed or easily swayed, but sometimes you have to decide whether or not to put your faith in the medical professionals. They say it's safe, and it will make a difference, so just like with vaccinations, I've chosen to believe them.

Admittedly those feeding their children fizzy, sugary crap as a drink instead of water are unlikely to see big benefits. But there has to be a starting point. And fluoride in the water is it.

For those who believe it's going to negatively affect them, there are options. Get a filter which removes the fluoride, buy bottled water for drinking.

The anti-fluoride people can make those choices for their families but don't take the potential benefits away from a toddler who could well benefit from drinking fluoridated water.

The medical profession firmly believes that fluoridation over the long term helps to build stronger teeth and if that means fewer kids are having fillings before they start school, or worse yet having rotten teeth pulled out before they're out of kindergarten, then let's do it.

Now it's time for the Government to follow it up with the introduction of a sugar tax to really see the country's kids reap the benefits.