Fluoridation of water must be at the heart of prevention
The green paper on prevention1 announced by Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, has been welcomed by Professor Michael Lennon OBE, on behalf of the British Fluoridation Society.
Professor Lennon, of the School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield, a former Chair of BSF and now its spokesman, delivers recommendations for taking the strategy forward and is supported in his statement by the Hull and East Yorkshire Local Dental Committee (LDC) and the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry.
With a new Government commitment to prevention, due to be framed in the green paper in 2019, now is the time, says Professor Lennon, for fluoridation of the water supplies to be at the heart of oral health prevention. He highlighted the ongoing struggle by the Hull and East Yorkshire LDC, supported by former MP Alan Johnson, to get fluoridation introduced in their area. Government support and funding is essential, he said.
He made the point that fluoridation is a cost-effective measure which reduces dental decay, as highlighted in a ‘return-on-investment’ graphic produced by Public Health England.
He identified the steps that could be taken to improve the health of children’s teeth and which would be supported by the entire dental profession:
- Government action to fund fluoridation of water. It should not be left to local authorities to fund these strategically important programmes.
- The CEO of the NHS should write to NHS commissioning bodies encouraging them to talk to local authorities to discuss the funding of new fluoridation schemes.
- All barriers to fluoridation of water should be removed with central government managing both the strategy and the funding in order to reduce the burden of dental decay. Claire Stevens, spokesperson for BSPD, said: “We are fully behind fluoridation of water as set out in our position statement. 2 We need to cut admissions to hospital for multiple extractions in children caused by dental caries and protect the most vulnerable in Society. Fluoridation should be part of a portfolio of prevention measures.”
Posted by Robert