A senior dentistry academic has given his backing to water fluoridation, saying it's an important tool to preventing oral diseases in children.
As part of Otago University's longitudinal study Dr Jonathan Broadbent has been collecting dental information from participants since they were five-years-old.
He told Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon, people who have early and regular access to oral health facilities are less likely to suffer from decay or diseases.
Dr Broadbent says one of the best prevention's to decay, is fluoride in the water.
"The best filling is the one you don't have to do," he says.
Dr Broadbent says he backs water fluoridation and describes it as an upstream health tool - one that prevents a disease before it can happen.
He says all young children should be taken for regular oral health checks.