HC Deb 14 November 1988 vol 140 c481W
Mr. Bowis

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of households receive fluoridised mains water; and what information he has as to the difference in dental health between such households and those in other parts of the United Kingdom.

Mrs. Currie

I regret that we do not hold information in the precise form requested. Some 5.5 million people in Britain benefit from fluoridated water (185,000 of these where the optimum level of fluoride occurs naturally in the water supply.).

Evidence in this country of the efficacy of fluoridation is well documented. For example, a study in fluoridated Newcastle and non-fluoridated North Manchester, (Duxbury et al 1985), showed that five-year-olds in Newcastle had approximately 60 per cent. less dental decay compared with their counterparts in Manchester. A similar study of 14-year-olds compared the levels of decay in fluoridated south Birmingham and non-fluoridated Bolton (Mitropoulos et al 1987). This showed that 32 per cent. of children in Birmingham were free of caries compared to only 19 per cent. in Bolton.