The BDA Commends South Central SHA's Decision to Go Ahead With Fluoridation

The BDA Commends South Central SHA's Decision to Go Ahead With Fluoridation

The BDA Commends South Central SHA's Decision to Go Ahead With Fluoridation
© 2009 Jacob Krikor D.D.S (Swe)

Published on:
Thursday, 26 February 2009, 17:00
Europe/London (GMT) +0000 UTC

The British Dental Association welcomes today's decision by South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) to proceed with the proposed scheme to fluoridate water in Southampton and parts of South West Hampshire following a public consultation which attracted over 10,000 responses.

The BDA believes that fluoridation will play an important role in reducing the worryingly high levels of dental decay in Southampton where as many as 42 per cent of 5-year olds have experienced tooth decay.

Studies of people's teeth in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas demonstrate the beneficial effect fluoridation has on dental health over time. For instance, a survey of 5-year olds by the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry (BASCD) in 2005–6 found that six of the top ten places in Britain for children's dental health all receive fluoridated water. Five-year olds in South Staffordshire have the best teeth, while South Birmingham ranks eighth best.

Five-year old children from Southampton have over twice as many teeth affected by decay as those from South Birmingham and around three times more than those from South Staffordshire. During 2007, over 520 children in Southampton had a general anaesthetic to have a total of 2,900 teeth extracted.

Commenting on the outcome, BDA Scientific Adviser Professor Damien Walmsley said:

„The BDA commends South Central's decision as we believe that fluoridation is a safe and effective method of reducing dental decay and oral health inequalities.“

„We look forward to the day when we see fewer children in Southampton having to endure the pain and discomfort of decayed teeth or the trauma of having a tooth extracted as a result of adopting this initiative.“

„The significance of today's decision is not confined to the 193,000 people it will affect directly. Other SHAs in England have been waiting to see whether South Central  – as the first SHA to consult on fluoridation since the law changed in 2003 – would succeed before launching their own consultation.“

United Kingdom
System reference number: PRLS-00000003-20090226193440