Demand for water fluoridation across England to fight tooth decay in children | dentists

Fluoride should be added to water supplies across England to help curb the increasing number of children hospitalized with tooth decay, dental surgeons say.

Almost 26,000 such children between the ages of five and nine were admitted in 2013/14. This makes it the main reason for inclusion in the age group and represents an increase of 14% in three years.

About 10% of England’s water supplies contain natural or man-made fluoride that is optimal for dental health. But in a report on the state of children’s oral health released Tuesday, the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) says this is not good enough.

Faculty Dean Prof. Nigel Hunt said, “One of the biggest problems raised in the document is the inequality in oral health across the country and the provision of water fluoridation is one way to overcome this. We know it is of proven benefit. “

He cited a 2014 report by Public Health England that found 45% fewer children aged one to four were hospitalized for tooth decay in fluoridation areas.

“We’re talking about a relatively small amount of money that will bring lifelong benefits,” said Hunt. “If oral health is not addressed as a child, there is increasing evidence that there will be problems later in life.”

Barry Cockcroft, chief dental officer, said dental health has improved dramatically over the past 10 years. Caries can be almost completely avoided through a balanced diet and good oral hygiene. “

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

“There’s good evidence to support oral health initiatives like the Scottish Childsmile program, which in England costs less than fluoridation and covers more people. After nearly 70 years of fluoridation, there is no high quality scientific study (an individual, randomized, controlled trial) that shows that fluoridation is effective or safe. “

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