A member of the New Zealand Dental Association says councils that remove fluoride from water supplies are jeopardising children's dental health.
Over the past year the Taranaki District Health Board has referred 78 children under five, 10 of them under two, to have rotten teeth removed.
The board's clinical dental leader Professor Jonathan Broadbent attributed this to the removal of fluoride from New Plymouth's water supply in 2011.
He said community fluoridation benefits everyone, especially children.
Children often have the least access to other sources of fluoride and need it to prevent tooth decay, he said.
Professor Broadbent said numerous studies have proved the benefits of fluoridation for dental health.