How a medical student convinced a town to fluoridate their water

More than 10% of the children had been hospitalised for caries in the past five years

In 2016, Dr Phuong Tran was a medical student on placement in Camperdown, a small rural town about 200km from Melbourne, when she noticed that many of the children attending the local GP surgery where she worked had bad tooth decay.

Dr Phuong Tran
Dr Phuong Tran. Photo: Dan Luke

“It shocked me a little. I’d expected to see the familiar issues around obesity and diabetes in the community but not so much poor oral health in kids so young,” she says.

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