Fluoridation still the answer


bitenews300-2Dental Health Services Victoria chief executive officer Dr Deborah Cole has welcomed the findings of a new report from the United Kingdom that has reconfirmed the evidence that water fluoridation schemes are a safe and effective public health measure. The report by Public Health England looked at key indicators of health in people in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas. “This report reconfirms what we have known for years—that water fluoridation programs have significant health benefits for our community,” she said. It found that up to 28 per cent fewer five-year-olds, and up to 21 per cent fewer 12-year-olds have tooth decay in fluoridated areas than non-fluoridated areas. It also found that in fluoridated areas there are 45 per cent fewer hospital admissions of children aged one to four for dental caries than in non-fluoridated areas, and there was evidence that the rate of kidney stones was lower in fluoridated areas than non-fluoridated areas. The report also found no evidence of a difference between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas, in the rates of hip fractures, Down’s syndrome or cancer. The report said: “Dental caries is a significant public health problem in England. Sizeable inequalities of caries exist between affluent and deprived communities, and it is a common cause of hospital admissions in children. “Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water in varying amounts. It is also present in some food. “The World Health Organization acknowledges that fluoride is used to combat dental caries (tooth decay), particularly in areas of high sugar intake. British Dental Association’s scientific adviser Professor Damien Walmsley says, “The report is a timely reminder of the significant role that fluoridation plays in reducing tooth decay.” 

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