Strong teeth project (NHMRC) – Fluoridation of water supplies in remote Indigenous communities in the NT

The Menzies School of Health Research (Baillie) and ARCPOH (Spencer, Armfield) are investigating the requirement, feasibility and cost-effectiveness of fluoridating remote Aboriginal communities in the NT.

In collaboration with the Menzies School of Health Research and the Northern Territory Department of Health and Community Services this project aims to improve knowledge on the fluoride levels in remote community water supplies in the NT, the oral health status of children living in these communities, and the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of a small scale remote water fluoridation plant. The project objectives are to:

  • to document the fluoride status of water supplies to populations in rural and remote Northern Territory
  • to identify rural and remote Aboriginal communities at risk of caries and with exposure to negligible concentrations of fluoride in their public water supplies
  • to assess the impact on oral health of introducing water fluoridation so as to build an evidence-base for the effectiveness of water fluoridation among rural and remote Aboriginal children and children living in similar settings elsewhere
  • to document the costs of implementation and maintenance of a water fluoridation plant so as to establish the feasibility and cost-effectiveness in small rural Aboriginal communities.

Principle Investigators: Bailie R, Spencer AJ.
Supported: NHMRC SRDC (2002-2003)

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