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Sunshine Coast for the holidays? Make sure you brush carefully

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Residents and holidaymakers on the Sunshine Coast may want to cut down on the sugary treats in the leadup to Christmas as there will be no fluoride in their drinking water for up to nine weeks.

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Maintenance work at the region’s major source of drinking water, the Landers Shute water treatment plant, have forced authorities to temporarily suspend fluoridation.

The operator of the plant, Seqwater, has said the major upgrade required fluoridation to be suspended until the work was completed.

The suspension comes as the Sunshine Coast is gearing up for a bumper Christmas holiday season, with tourist accommodation expected to be at a premium due to the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to restrict travel interstate and overseas.

Landers Shute, at the Baroon Pocket Dam in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, supplies about 140 megalitres of drinking water to the region a day.

In a statement, Seqwater said fluoride dosages were due to resume at the plant before Christmas. It has advised Queensland Health and water retailer Unitywater of the temporary suspension.

“The Queensland Department of Health advised that for the relatively short period when there would be no fluoride added to the water supply, brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and maintaining a healthy diet will be enough to maintain good dental health,” it said.

“Residents are encouraged to contact their dentist or public dental service for advice if they are concerned.”

“The plant will continue to supply drinking water to residents around the Sunshine Coast without interruption.”

Fluoridation is not compulsory in Queensland but all local councils in south-east Queensland opt to add it to the drinking water supply to boost dental health.

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