Type to search

Oasis Podcasts Professional Issues

Saint John, NB, decides negatively on water fluoridation

Dr Jeff Clark Kelly ManningPodcast Icon SmallDr. John O’Keefe, Director Knowledge Networks at the Canadian Dental Association, interviewed Drs. Jeff Clark and Kelly Manning, respectively President and President Elect of the New Brunswick Dental Society, about the debate on the future of water fluoridation that took place at Saint John’s city council on March 10th, 2014. 





Listen to the audio interview (10 min)


Lessons Learned

  • Be organized and expect the unexpected.
  • Be prepared that the vocal minority has that bigger sway sometimes than we expect it to be. As scientists, we expect that educated people will listen to an educated argument.
  • We need to do a better job at explaining the benefits of water fluoridation, and if you are in an area that benefits from water fluoridation, don’t wait until council brings it up.
  • It is our responsibility to educate councillors, those who are making recommendations to councillors, and the public at large on water fluoridation.


Visit our Podcasts Page to download the audio interview



  1. Kent Orlando March 27, 2014

    Great interview John.
    The debate should be focusing on not whether to flouridate, but rather who is responsible. Health care is generally not the mandate of the municipality rather the province. Provincial governments should be looking at providing money to flouridate. Especially to protect the segment of the population who utilizes provincials sponsored dental plans. Ie those who suffer the most from dental caries. Thanks

  2. Ian McConnachie March 27, 2014

    We are clearly in a period of having to respond effectively to a very strong but very small anti-fluoridation radical group that is prepared to use a variety of tactics to get their way. We are also in a period where elected leaders have called into question the validity of the scientific method and scientific knowledge in other areas with the unintended consequence that all scientific method and knowledge is being questioned. One can understand the reasonable intelligent citizen wanting to know if a public health measure such as water fluoridation is safe, effective and cost-effective. We ALL as science-based professionals need to become engaged on this. With respect to the New Brunswick battle, I would encourage the leadership of the fluoridation team to now go back to the politicians and put the onus squarely on their shoulders. Do they have the courage of their convictions to test whether they are right. Dare I say, do the politicians have the guts to put it to the test. They should now be strongly pressured to set up a well-constructed oral health exam survey of pre-school children, particularly in identified high risk populations, establish the disease rate for caries, and then in 3 years repeat the survey in the same population base of another group of similar age pre-schoolers. They will discover, hopefully to their horror or shame, that they were wrong, the disease has increased, and they need to put the fluoride back in. Witness Dorval, Quebec a decade ago as the precedent on this.

  3. Don Joyce April 2, 2014

    The point was made that perhaps this should be dealt with at the provincial level as health is their mandate.We should make this an issue in the upcoming provincial election! What do you think? Don Joyce


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *