… As well as fluoridation in water, the RCS wants the government to invest in a national oral health programme, similar to Childsmile in Scotland. The £1.8m Scottish scheme, which includes supervised toothbrushing for children in primary school and nursery in deprived areas has saved more than £6m in dental costs between 2001 and 2010. The RCS, which represents around 4,500 specialist dentists, also wants awareness raised on the impact of sugar on tooth decay and for the government to ensure that all children with advanced tooth decay have timely access to specialist paediatric services.

“We are talking about a relatively small amount of money that will provide life-long benefit,” said Hunt. “If oral health isn’t tackled as a child, there is growing evidence there will be problems later in life.”

Chief dental officer Barry Cockcroft said dental health had improved dramatically over the past 10 years “We strongly encourage parents to take their children for regular dental check-ups – so dentists can promote healthy mouths and prevent decay before it happens,” he said.“Tooth decay is almost completely preventable through a balanced diet and good oral hygiene.”

A spokesperson for the National Pure Water Association said: “The Royal College’s otherwise good report is spoilt by its flawed recommendation to increase the extent of fluoridation in the UK.

“There is good evidence to support oral health initiatives like Scotland’s Childsmile programme, which costs less than fluoridation in England and covers more people. After nearly 70 years of fluoridation, there is not one high-quality scientific study (an individual, randomised, controlled trial) that shows fluoridation to be effective or safe.”

*Read full original article online at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/13/add-fluoride-water-halt-rise-childhood-tooth-decay

*Note from FAN:
For a further understanding of the Scottish Childsmile program, which was created because of the Scottish Executive’s decision not to fluoridate, go to http://fluoridealert.org/content/childsmile/