Fluoride Action Network

History of fluoridation policies as a strategy by the Brazilian Legislative Branch to fight dental caries, 1963 to 2019

Source: Cadernos de Saude Publica 36(4):e00208418. | April 30th, 2020 | By Thais Regis Aranha Rossi, Luiz Gaudencio Passos Moreira, Sandra Garrido de Barros.
Location: Brazil

[Article in Portuguese]


The aim of this study was to analyze legislative proceedings on fluoridation policies in Brazil from 1963 to 2019. The theoretical reference was Pierre Bourdieu. A document search was performed on legislative proceedings that address the theme of fluoridation in Brazil as a public health measure and the discussions in the National Congress. The sources for the article were the official websites of the Chamber of Deputies (lower house) and the Senate to consult the legislative acts related to fluoridation in Brazil. The study showed that from 1963 to 2001 and in 2017 there was a dispute between fluoridation methods for the water supply, mineral water, and table salt fluoridation. However, there was a crosscutting understanding of the importance and benefits of systemic fluoride use. From 2003 to 2013, the bills challenged the use of systemic fluoride, proposing its use only in topical applications. In the 1960s, 1970, and 2017, the legislative bills showed a closer approach to the scientific field and were submitted by opposition members of Congress. Unlike the issue of water fluoridation, of the 6 legislative bills in favor of salt fluoridation, only one was drafted by a health professional da health, and only two by legislators from the Southeast region. There were more bills by legislators from the Central and Northeast. Those with training in health exhibited positions in defense of some method of systemic fluoridation. The analysis allowed interpreting the historical process of developing the response to the caries problem and the different strategies employed in this process.

*Abstract online at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32374811/

*Full-article in Portugese at https://doi.org/10.1590/0102-311×00208418