Along with the wider CWF network, the OHF believes 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.
Only 5.8 million Brits have are supplied with fluoridated water, the OHF says, and some 300,000 receive water with naturally occurring fluoride. That’s less than 10% of the population and is not enough to bring about change to the alarming rates of tooth decay and extractions among children, the OHF says.
Tooth extraction remains the top reason for hospital admissions for children between the ages of 5 and 9 in the United Kingdom, with one in seven children under the age of 3 having tooth decay, the UHF says. Fluoridating water supplies wouldn’t completely solve this problem, the OHF notes, but it would have a significant positive impact.
Dr. Nigel Carter, OBE, chief executive of the OHF, believes that community water fluoridation could save millions of children from a lifetime of dental pain and suffering.
“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%,” Carter said.
“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,” Carter said.