5 Nov 2010

Asked by Baroness Gardner of Parkes

Asked by Baroness Gardner of Parkes

To ask Her Majesty's Government where and when water fluoridation was first introduced in the United Kingdom; whether water fluoridation is continuing in that location; what is the decayed, missing, filled (DMF) rate for this area; and how this compares with non-fluoridated areas.[HL3098]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Following three small-scale pilot schemes undertaken over the period 1955 to 1962 in Watford, Kilmarnock and part of Anglesey, the first substantive fluoridation scheme in the United Kingdom was started by Birmingham City Council in 1964, covering most of Birmingham and some adjacent areas. The scheme continues in operation, serving a population of over a million people, and is now part of a much wider fluoridation coverage in the West Midlands, the most extensively fluoridated area of England.

In the 2007-08 NHS epidemiological survey of dental health of five year-old children, the average number of decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) for the City of Birmingham was 1.35. Children in the City of Manchester, in the same Office for National Statistics local authority cluster group as Birmingham, but which does not have fluoridated water, had an average DMFT of 2.39. This compares to a national average for England of 1.11 DMFT.

So fluoridated Birmingham has a higher dental decay in five year olds than the national average.

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