fluoride water
Everyone in Britain should have fluoride added to their water, health officials ruled today as they dismissed 'exaggerated' cancer fears.

The UK's four chief medical officers say adding the mineral to water would help to combat tooth decay, which costs the NHS millions every year.

Ministers are likely to accept the advice, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid keen to press ahead with the move.

The health and care bill currently going through parliament would allow ministers to order council chiefs to put fluoride in drinking water across the country.

Around 5.8million Britons live in areas where fluoride - also added to toothpastes and mouthwashes - is already placed in tap water.

Comment: Note that one does not drink toothpaste or mouthwash.

And 300,000 drink supplies naturally fluoridated by rocks in the ground.

Professor Chris Whitty and fellow officials recommended the scheme is widened to include the rest of the country.

Tooth decay is largely preventable and a massive burden on the NHS, costing the health service £54.6million for treating children alone in 2019. Adding fluoride to water could prevent two-thirds of hospital admissions for tooth decay, the health bosses said.

Comment: Fluoride has been added to the water supply across much of the US for decades and there's no subtantial proof that it prevents tooth decay.

Professor Whitty and colleagues wrote: 'There is unquestionably an issue with tooth decay in the UK and an entrenched inequality which needs to be addressed.

'Fluoridation of water can reduce this common problem.'

Calls to expand the scheme, thought to cost as little as 40p per person per year, have attrached criticism in the past.

Some have warned that the mineral can increase the risk of babies being born with Down's syndrome, kidney stones and some cancers.

Professor Whitty and his colleagues today dismissed the concerns as 'exaggerated and unevidenced'.

Comment: Worryingly, this is the same Whitty that has overseen the disastrous and deadly lockdown policies, the rollout of various experimental injections to treat a relatively harmless virus, and who recently overruled guidance from the government's own vaccine advisory board over the injection of children.

Experts today welcomed the move, saying it would improve oral health 'for decades to come'.

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in water and some foods — but the amount in water varies across the UK due to geological differences.

Only 10 per cent of the UK's population currently get water with sufficient fluoride levels, according to the British Fluoridation Society.

These areas include parts of North Hampshire and South Berkshire.

In a statement to ministers, Professor Whitty and his colleagues said if all five-year-olds with drinking water containing less than 0.2 milligram per litre (mg/l) of fluoride started drinking water with 0.7 mg/l, the number with cavities would fall by up to 28 per cent in the poorest.

And hospital admissions for tooth decay extractions would be slashed by 45 to 68 per cent, they said.

Comment: This is a rather startling deception.

By the age of five, around a quarter of children in England suffer tooth decay, which can cause agonising pain.

Around 35,000 children are admitted to hospital to have decaying teeth extracted every year.

It is caused by sugary diets. Bacteria in plaque turn sugar into acid, which breaks down the surface of the tooth, causing cavities.

Comment: Indeed. Not because of a lack of fluoride. Moreover, the sugars that cause overall poor oral health come in a number of forms, and they include high carbohydrate foods, like bread: White flour products and rice rot teeth, New Zealand's largest child study reveals

Professor Whitty's report dismissed as a 'small risk' concerns that the programme would increase rates of dental fluorosis — stains on the teeth that can range from very white lines when mild to discolouration when severe — if teeth are exposed to too much fluoride.

It acknowledged 'weaker studies' saying fluoride may raise the risk of hip fractures and bladder and bone cancers.

Comment: The list of harms caused by fluoride is legion: Fluoride on trial: EPA scientists admit fluoride harms the brain

But the chief medical officers — Dr Frank Atherton for Wales, Dr Michael McBride for Northern Ireland and Dr Gregor Smith for Scotland — said evidence to support the claims were 'conflicting'.

They added: 'Prevailing public health opinion is now that there is no significant association between water fluoridation and these conditions.

Comment: 'Prevailing opinion' is not fact.

'As with all things in medicine and public health, there is a balance of risk and benefit.

'On balance, there is strong scientific evidence that water fluoridation is an effective public health intervention for reducing the prevalence of tooth decay and improving dental health equality across the UK.'

The World Health Organization recommends that fluoride should not go above 1.5 mg/l, which is more than double the level proposed by the report.
fluoride uk

Just 6.1million Britons — around 10 per cent of the population — currently received water with fluoride levels sufficient to benefit oral health, according to the British Fluoridation Society. These areas include Hartlepool, Easington, parts of North Hampshire and South Berkshire
Professor Whitty and his fellow CMOs said the plan is 'not a substitute' for brushing teeth, regular dentist visits and limiting sugar intake.

The UK's current approach to boost dental hygiene includes supervised tooth brushing schemes for younger children in schools and some local authorities.

People can also put fluoride toothpaste or have the mineral applied to their teeth by a dentists.

But water fluoridation would be effective because they don't require behavioural change and can benefit those 'less likely to engage with other methods'.

Comment: That's rather insidious reasoning. What about those who simply do not want fluoride in their water? The freedom to choose is rapidly being remove from people's lives and the government is increasingly involved in behavioural engineering: Psychologists accuse UK government of using 'unethical' fear tactics on people to enforce lockdown

And it could help narrow differences in dental health between the most and least deprived parts of the country.

Comment: This is telling, because it highlights how dental health isn't correlated with access to flouride, but instead to higher living standards, that likely includes higher quality foods and a more varied diet:

Some 25 countries around the world already add fluoride to tap water, including Ireland, the majority of the US and Australia.

The bill going through parliament will give the Health Secretary the power to order the fluoridation of water supplies.

After the bill becomes law early next year, he is expected to open a consultation on whether the plans to add fluoride to water should go ahead.

Professor John Fawell, visiting professor at the Cranfield University Water Institute, said: 'It is clear that fluoridation is of significant benefit, particularly to children from deprived communities where the uptake of dental hygiene measures is much lower.

'The level normally recommended for fluoridation of drinking water to reduce the risk of dental decay is between 0.5 and 1 mg/l fluoride.'

The risk of dental fluorosis only increases as the concentration rises above 1 mg/l, he added.

Dr Nigel Carter, head of the Oral Health Foundation, told the Times adding fluoride to water 'is the single most effective public health measure there is for reducing oral health inequalities and tooth decay rates, especially amongst children'.

Water fluoridation would improve the UK population's teeth 'for decades to come', he added.