Fluoride Action Network

Rossendale councillors – we need extra dentists not flouride

Source: Lancashire Telegraph | September 12th, 2008 | By Helen Korn
Location: United Kingdom, England

ROSSENDALE councillors said they would rather see cash spent on another NHS dentist for the borough, than water fluoridation.

A debate was held by the cabinet after it was given a talk on controversial fluoridation by Melanie Catleugh, a consultant in dental public health.

Councillors now have time to decide whether they would like to go through a consultation period.

But Coun Gladys Sandiford said that would cost a lot of money and she would prefer cash to be spent on better dental services in the valley.

She said: “People have to take responsibility for their own teeth – fluoridation is like mass medicating them.”

Changes to the Water Act enacted in 2003 have given North West Primary Care Trusts the chance to consider water fluoridation as a method of reducing tooth decay.

It is claimed that fluoride reduces loss of minerals from tooth surfaces and makes teeth more resistant.Figures show that 48per cent of five-year-old children in Rossendale have one, or more, decayed, missing, or filled teeth.

But, at present, there are only five dentists in Rossendale with full NHS services.

Coun Peter Steen said: “The cost should be going into funding another NHS dentist for Rossendale.”

Coun Darryl Smith added: “I am pleased we are being consulted about this, but I think it’s completely pointless. Adding fluoride to water is an example of extracting away responsibility from people. For me it’s like taking a sledgehammer to cracking nuts – if I had a headache, I wouldn’t expect everyone else to take an aspirin.

“I think it’s completely bonkers and I would rather the money was spent on improving dental health in the valley.”

The PCT board will need to decide if it wishes to request the Strategic Health Authority to explore the possibility of fluoridating public water supplies by October 31.