As part of a Queensland Government initiative, plans are afoot to introduce fluoride into the water supplies of a number of towns on the Tablelands, in the state's far north by 2011.
This includes towns such as Kuranda, Malanda and Yungaburra with populations of 1,000 people which will be required to provide fluoridated water under new regulations.
Tom Gilmore the Tablelands Regional Council Mayor says that while some people have environmental concerns, the council has no choice but to implement the policy.
The aim is for 95% of Queensland drinking water to be fluoridated by the year 2012.
Water fluoridation means controlled amounts of fluoride are added the public water supply in order to reduce tooth decay and was first used in the U.S. in the 1940s, after researchers discovered that moderate fluoridation prevents cavities.
The process got off to a start with the fluoridation of south-east Queensland water supplies on Monday at a water treatment plant in Molendinar, north of the Gold Coast, but it may not reach the taps for another two weeks.
It is hoped that the introduction of fluoridated water will improve the state's poor dental health record, that shows Queensland children have 30-40% more tooth decay than children from other states.
Claims that the fluoride used came from China and is contaminated, have been denied by the Queensland Health Minister Stephen Robertson who says the top-quality product was from Belgium and Queenslanders need not be concerned as the water would be tested daily.
Experts say fluoridation of the water does not provide an instant fix for decaying teeth and good oral hygiene is still essential and for Queensland children the benefits may not be evident for another five years.
Parents in areas affected are advised to stop giving their children fluoride supplements as excess fluoride could cause dental fluorosis, which mottles or stains teeth.
While water fluoridation remains for many a contentious issue it is carried out in many developed countries such as the U.S. and Britain.