A Preston dentist has backed calls for fluoride to be added to drinking water to tackle the poor state of children’s teeth.
The Evening Post recently revealed how health chiefs are lobbying to reduce the high levels of tooth decay affecting youngsters in the city by introducing fluoride into tap water.
Austin Hughes, who has been a dentist for 24 years and has a private practice on Camden Place, Avenham, today added his support for the cause by saying he believes it will drastically reduce dental decay in youngsters.
Mr Hughes, 48, trained as a dentist in Newcastle – where the water supply is fluoridated – and also spent eight years working as a dentist in the New Hall Lane area of Preston.
He said: “While I was training in Newcastle, I saw a lot of children from the poorer sections of society and, after I qualified, I worked as a dentist in New Hall Lane and saw many children from a similar socio-economic group.
“But the difference in the amount of decay I saw in children’s teeth in Newcastle and Preston was vast.”
However, environment campaigners from Friends of the Earth are completely against the fluoridation proposals and have branded the idea “a danger”.
Lancashire-based Brian Jackson, who runs the group’s national anti-fluoridation campaign, says fluoride is a toxic waste by-product which could be very harmful to young children.
He said: “If fluoride was put into a metal drum it would eat through it eventually.”