Log In
Thursday 19th April 2018

New fluoride in water push

4th February 2008

This week, Health Secretary Alan Johnson will support the addition of fluoride to water in Britain.


He will argue that adding the substance to the water supply will offer an "effective and relatively easy way" to decrease tooth problems and fillings in children living in deprived areas.

However, critics of the scheme have warned against "mass medication" and said it acts as "an infringement of civil liberties." They have also said that too much of the substance discolours teeth - causing a disease called fluorosis - and damages tooth enamel.

Mr Johnson will announce on 5 February that he wants "the NHS to do much more to prevent rather than just treat disease."

He will back the addition of fluoride to water, as it can "help address health inequalities, giving children from poorer backgrounds a dental health boost that can last a lifetime".

Currently, six million people in the North-east of the country and the Midlands drink and use fluoride-treated water.

The British Dental Association has backed the scheme, saying that it would "dramatically improve oral health among the needy".

Figures published by the Department of Health have shown that children in Manchester have double the risk of suffering tooth problems compared to those living in Birmingham, who drink water with added fluoride.

Critics of the scheme say that studies have associated excess fluoride with bone cancer and brittle bone disease. They argue that a decrease in the amount of sugar consumed and "regular brushing" is a superior way of reducing tooth decay.

Share this page


There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Article Information

Title: New fluoride in water push
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 5528
Date Added: 4th Feb 2008


BBC News

Recent Related Articles

Newcastle Hospitals appoints new chief executive

Fruit teas can damage teeth

New online therapy tool for depression


Add to scrapbook
Show Comments
Add comment
Find all related articles


M3 - For secure managed hosting over N3 or internet
© Mayden Foundation 2018