Help for kids’ teeth: Another fluoridation study reports “clinically significant” benefits

Posted & filed under Children's Oral Health and Fluoride, Fluoride and Public Health, Health Equity.

A team of researchers in England examined the impact of community water fluoridation and has reported “strong evidence for a highly clinically significant reduction” in the prevalence and severity of tooth decay. This new study, The effect of community water fluoridation on dental caries in children and young people in England: an ecological study, focused on children and teens, revealed that fluoridated water was linked to a major reduction in the rate of hospital admissions for tooth extractions.

The authors wrote: “Given that around 70% of the English population have [insufficient fluoride] in their drinking water and the high levels of dental caries and associated treatment, these findings indicate that many children and young people could benefit from community water fluoridation.”

The study, published by the Journal of Public Health, analyzed dental health data for children in England. Currently, about 10% of England’s population has access to drinking water with the recommended concentration of fluoride.

The study’s authors found that fluoridation offered benefits “across all categories of (social/economic) deprivation, with a greater effect in areas of greater deprivation.” This aligns with the findings of a 2021 report by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. This report noted that fluoridation “not only benefits the entire population but disproportionally benefits economically vulnerable groups” — partly by reducing the need for costly treatments to repair decayed teeth.