Water fluoridation is an effective and safe public measure, Public Health England has found in its latest report.
Public Health England (PHE) has been reporting on the effects of fluoride every four years and released its latest findings in the Water flouridation: health monitoring in England 2018 report.
It is the second such report from PHE, both of which found water fluoridation to be effective.
‘The evidence in this report shows water fluoridation is a safe and effective method to reduce tooth decay, especially among deprived communities,’ Professor John Newton, director of health improvement at PHE, said.
‘We would encourage local authorities to consider this evidence carefully when deciding on their plans to improve dental health in their areas.’
Water fluoridation results
The chances of having teeth removed in hospital because of decay were much lower in areas with water fluoridation schemes.
The report also found that:
- Five-year-olds in areas with water fluoridation schemes were much less likely to experience tooth decay, and less likely to experience more severe decay than in areas without schemes
- Children from all areas benefited from fluoridation, but children from relatively deprived areas benefited the most
- Dental fluorosis, at a level that may affect the appearance of teeth, was observed in 10% of children/young people examined in two fluoridated cities; however, there was no difference between children and young people surveyed in fluoridated and non-fluoridated cities when asked about their opinion on the appearance of their teeth, taking into account concerns that have resulted from any cause (for example, poor alignment, decay, trauma or fluorosis)
- Taken alongside the existing wider research, PHE results do not provide convincing evidence of higher rates of hip fracture, Down’s syndrome, kidney stones, bladder cancer, or osteosarcoma (a cancer of the bone) due to fluoridation schemes.
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