HC Deb 15 July 1997 vol 298 c189
12. Mr. Maxton

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he intends meeting the British Dental Association to discuss dental health in Scotland. [6703]

Mr. Galbraith

I have asked my officials to arrange a meeting with the British Dental Association in September.

Mr. Maxton

Does my hon. Friend agree with the British Dental Association that the quickest and most effective way dramatically to improve dental health in Scotland, particularly among young people, is to ensure an adequate supply of fluoride in the public water system? If he agrees, will he hold urgent talks with the water authorities to ensure that that happens and, if they refuse to fluoridate water, will he introduce legislation to ensure that it happens?

Mr. Galbraith

There are three main ways to reduce dental caries. The first is to cut sugar intake, the second is to clean teeth regularly and the third—and by far the most effective—is to introduce fluoride, which is the best way forward.