The executive committee was on the whole in support of the scheme, but decided to hold off introducing it as part of the council’s free breakfasts for primary school pupils.

Blackpool’s director of public health, Dr Arif Rajpura, said: “We have decided to defer the decision on fluoridated milk.

“A study which took place in Newcastle showed slightly higher levels of fluoride than expected in children who used the milk.

“Public Health England has asked that any local authority considering a decision on using fluoridated milk to await the findings of its study.

“The information was only provided to us today and we will look at the findings and make a decision on flouridated milk in the coming weeks when we have a chance to review it.

“Varying factors have to be considered – fluoride in the water can have an impact as can the type of toothpaste being used.

“It is fair we await the findings.”

Public Health England plans to publish its findings later this week after collating the result of introducing fluoride into the diet of schoolchildren.

If the council goes ahead parents will be given the chance to opt out of the scheme, following information sessions due to be held in February and March.

Health chiefs first put forward the idea of fluoridated milk, also known as dental milk, last August to tackle high levels of tooth decay among the resort’s children.

The dental health of youngsters in the town is among the worst in the country, with more than one in three five-year-olds having at least one unhealthy tooth.

By the time they reach the age of 12, the figure increases to 43 per cent, according to official figures.

Coun Sarah Riding, cabinet member for health, said: “The issue for us is that unfortunately children’s teeth in Blackpool are some of the worst in the country.

“Introducing fluoride would not be something that happens in isolation – we would continue with all our initiatives in schools around brushing teeth.”

The earliest fluoridated milk could be introduced to pupils is the next school year.

The scheme is not expected to cost more than it currently costs to provide regular school milk and the council plans to re-tender the service.

Coun Riding added: “There is lots of scare mongering that goes on when changes like this are proposed, so I think it is important parents and carers of children do go along to the information sessions and find out as much as they can.”