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
Dr Phuong Tran
Dr Phuong Tran. Photo: Dan Luke

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.

“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.