18th February 2020

The Oral Health Foundation is calling on the Government to act after a renewed push for community water fluoridation by NHS England and the Community Water Fluoridation (CWF) network.

The Oral Health Foundation, along with the wider CWF network, believe that community water fluoridation is the single most effective public health measure to improving the oral health of children and tackle oral inequality among disadvantaged communities.

Currently, only six million Brits are supplied with fluoridated water and some 300,000 are supplied with water with naturally occurring fluoride present. This accounts for less than 10% of the population and is not enough to bring about change to the alarming rates of tooth decay and tooth extractions amongst children.

Tooth extraction remains the number one reason for hospital admissions of five-to-nine year olds in the UK while one in seven children under the age of three years old have tooth decay.  Fluoridating water supplies would not completely solve this problem, but it would make a significant impact in turning the tide on children’s oral health.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, believes that community water fluoridation could save millions of children from a lifetime of dental pain and suffering.

Dr Carter says: ‘We’re delighted that NHS England and the Community Water Fluoridation network, along with several MPs, are raising the issue of water fluoridation again.  The addition of fluoride to water has been researched for over 60 years, and has been proven to reduce decay by 40-to-60%.

We hope that more Local Authorities and the Central Government will get on board with water fluoridation and would love to see a future where everyone in the United Kingdom can benefit from it. We wait in anticipation for progress to be made towards that goal but while we do, we would encourage everyone to brush their teeth with a fluoridate toothpaste. This give your teeth the boost of fluoride that they needs.’

For more information on the benefits of fluoride for oral health please visit our A – Z of Oral Health Information.