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Water fluoridation almost halves hospital admissions for dental caries, report finds

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 27 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2394
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Children living in local authorities in England with water fluoridation schemes have less tooth decay than those in local authorities without such schemes, and there is no evidence that fluoridation harms health, says a report by Public Health England.

Rates of tooth decay were significantly lower in both children’s milk teeth and adult teeth in fluoridated areas, with the effect most pronounced in deprived areas where tooth decay in children is a greater problem, said the agency’s first report on the health of people living in fluoridated water areas.1 Tooth decay was defined as decay into dentine.

In fluoridated water areas there were 45% fewer hospital admissions of children aged one to four for dental caries (mostly for extraction of decayed teeth under a general anaesthetic) than in non-fluoridated water areas. The rate of hospital admissions for children aged one to four with caries varied from 7 per 100 000 in Leicestershire to 1550 per 100 000 in Rotherham between 2009-12, figures showed.2

At age five years, 15% fewer children had tooth decay in …

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