The public will now be able to implement water fluoridation.
An online toolkit from Public Health England (PHE) will allow local authorities to have the choice to have fluoride in their water.
The 79-page toolkit is available on the gov.uk website, it is under ‘Improving oral health: a community water fluoridation toolkit for local authorities’ and covers everything you need to know about water fluoridation.
The toolkit ensures to inform people of the benefits of water fluoridation, it also explains the complex processes that need to be followed to achieve fluoridation of your local water supply.
The British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) brought up this issue in 2014. The BSPD wanted the fluoridation of water to be put in place where people suffered from severe tooth decay.
PHE’s National Director of Health and Wellbeing, Professor Kevin Fenton, has said that the agency is ‘wholly supportive’ of the BSPD’s position.
BSPD spokeswoman, Claire Stevens, said:
“The evidence behind the positive impact of fluoride on teeth is strong.”
“However, there are many areas of the UK where there is no fluoride in the water and children and young people in these areas suffer from more dental decay than in other areas.”
Claire Stevens claimed that around six million people in the UK have benefited from having fluoridated water. This can be because it occurs naturally in the water supply or because minute quantities have been added. For example: Scottish drinking water has fluoride added into the water. Stevens added:
“While I welcome PHE’s recognition for our position statement and know that our membership is happy to play a role, I do feel frustrated that responsibility for fluoridation has been passed down to local level”
“Each locality will have to deal with their local water board and carry out a consultation of the local population.”
“The work involved is complex and costly.”
“My fear is that water fluoridation will happen in some areas but not others and this will reinforce the inequalities that already exist.”
Despite this, Stevens remains positive:
“I hope that the toolkit and a commitment to wipe out the health inequalities created by the absence of fluoride in some areas will win over the hearts and minds of community decision-makers.
‘BSPD is at the ready to support them.”