10 Jun 2011

Lymington Times

Experts back fluoride to halve child tooth decay
DENTAL experts have praised health bosses for moving ahead with controversial plans to fluoridate tap water.
The NHS scheme, approved last year by South Central Strategic Health Authority to reduce child tooth decay, will affect 190,000 people in the Southampton area, including 8,000 in Totton.
Members of the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry (BASCD) have unanimously passed a motion backing the move at a conference in Sheffield.
The organisation claimed the scheme would reduce child tooth decay by up to half and insisted it was a safe method.
But objectors, including New Forest and Hampshire councils, said it was "forced medication" and a
15,000-name petition objecting was submitted last year.
Now, the Hampshire Against Fluoride campaign is gathering names for a fresh petition to persuade Southampton City Council to formally reverse its vote in 2008 to support the scheme, although it later backed a referendum.
The project was put on hold until a High Court judge earlier this year rejected a judicial review bought by Southampton mum Gerri Milner, who argued the SHA did not listen to public opinion before approving it.
But now the scheme is back on track and the newly elected BASCD president, Professor Peter Robinson, said fluoridation marked an "important step" in tackling the oral health problems of children.
"In this day and age, it is wholly unacceptable that around 500
children a year from Southampton should have to undergo a general anaesthetic in hospital to have severely decayed teeth extracted," he said.
"We can confidently anticipate that several years after fluoridation has started in the city, this figure will have been significantly reduced.
"Four systematic reviews of the worldwide evidence on the benefits of water fluoridation published in the past 10 years suggest that, in the area to be fluoridated in and around Southampton, the number of children's teeth affected by decay will fall — probably by between about 30% and 50%."
In a public consultation last year, 72% of respondents objected to fluoridation, although a Mori poll for the SHA showed only 38% against.

With all the new dentist practices advertising for patients that seem to have sprung up lately in the city I'm sure there will be a notable improvement.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This confident assertion that tooth decay will drop so dramatically is not borne out by Birmingham's experience of fluoridation, (see the news item related to that). Where do these zealots get their figures from? Prof Lennon of the BFS quotes this sort of nonsense - it looks like any old figure will do provided it makes the decision look like a no brainer.