3 Mar 2011

Calls for fluoridated water in Wales

Calls for fluoridated water in Wales
Stuart Geddes, chairman of the British Dental Association in Wales has called for fluoridated water supplies in Wales to try and reduce rates of tooth decay.

The calls come after the Adult Oral Health Survey showed a significant gap between standards of oral health in Wales, Northern Ireland and England; England and Northern Ireland had lower rates of decay and the number of people without any natural teeth was much higher in Wales. In Wales, 10 percent of the survey participants had no natural teeth; this was considerably higher than in England, where the figure was six percent.
Mr Geddes said that he recognised that standards of oral health were improving in Wales, but said that progress was too slow and more needed to be done to promote good oral health and reduce rates of decay. Mr Geddes, along with many other dental professionals, believes that adding fluoride to the country’s water supplies will help to tackle the problem of poor oral health. Mr Geddes said that adding fluoride to the water was a “tried and tested” method of improving oral health.

Adding fluoride to the water is likely to provoke an angry reaction from some residents; anti-fluoride campaigning has become more fervent in recent years and recently, a mother from Southampton took the local health authority to court for approving plans to add fluoride to the water. Many people believe that fluoride has potential health risks; however, dentists support the use and claim that it is completely safe and highly beneficial for oral health.

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