The British Dental Association welcomes Health Secretary Alan Johnson’s announcement this week that £42 million would be made available for local fluoridation schemes where communities support the initiative.
Susie Sanderson, Chair of the BDA’s Executive Board, said:
“Tooth decay is a significant problem in the UK. In socially deprived communities as many as one in three children under the age of five will have one or more extractions of decayed teeth.
“Research confirms that fluoridation helps to reduce tooth decay. The addition of fluoride into water supplies in certain areas could reduce the levels of tooth decay and give children a decent start in life.
“Fluoride should form part of an oral health strategy that considers all effective methods to improve health. This includes healthy eating advice, identifying sugar-free medicines, improving periodontal health, stop smoking guidance, accessing alcohol misuse, and prevention of erosion.”
As well as targeting the water supply, fluoride can be supplied in toothpaste, rinses, topical varnishes and in milk.
The BDA welcomes a full and informed debate on the merits of fluoridating drinking water and backs a community’s right to choose whether this is implemented.
The BDA also supports the Department of Health’s commitment to further research on the effects of fluoridation.
1. Details of the Health Secretary’s announcement [see link below]
2. The British Dental Association (BDA) is the professional association for dentists in the UK. It represents over 20,000 dentists working in general practice, in community and hospital settings, in academia and research, and in the armed forces.