Adding fluoride to water could save the NHS millions of pounds
New research has suggested that adding fluoride to drinking water could save the NHS millions of pounds that is currently being spent on dental treatment, as well as improving the health of the nations teeth. In areas of the country where the mineral was added to the water, the number of people admitted to the dentist for a tooth extraction halved in comparison to areas without untreated water.
The latest study, which has been published in the Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, found that there were no adverse effects on children’s health, despite the supposed risks – which include brain impairment, liver and kidney disease, and bone disorders. Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation said that fluoridation is vital in the fight against decay which is currently ravaging the teeth of children in the UK. He said that ‘this new research reinforces what we have known for a long time regarding the benefits that fluoride can have on children’s teeth, while also emphasising the fact that fluoridation has no negative impact on general health.’
Dental health problems are known to be prevalent in areas of deprivation and the authors of the study have suggested that adding fluoride to the water could help children who are ‘less likely to practice good oral hygiene and access dental services for routine care.’
The NHS currently spends £30million on dental care for children, mainly extractions of rotten teeth; fluoridation could reduce decay, strengthen the teeth and make them more resistant to bacteria, saving healthcare providers millions of pounds in treatment.
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