HC Deb 21 March 1989 vol 149 c577W
Mr. Lawrence

To ask the Secretary of State for Health in which regional health authority areas there has been a reduction in the proportion of children suffering from dental caries over the past five years; and which of these areas officially has fluoridated drinking water.

Mr. Freeman

Surveys of dental caries levels in children were carried out in England in 1983 and in 1985–86. The results, given in the table1, showed that there was little change between 1983 and 1985–86. In none of the regions is drinking water wholly fluoridated.

Recent studies have shown that fluoridation of water has continued to produce important benefits in those areas where schemes operate over and above the general decline in caries over the last 15 years.

1 Downer MC "Time trends in dental decay in young children" Health Trends 1989; 21: 7–9.

Table: Dental caries experience of 5-year-old children in England
Survey region(s) 1983 decayed and fill-ed primary teeth 1985–86 decayed and fill-ed primary teeth
Northern 1.3 1.6
Mersey 2.1 2.1
North Western
West Midlands 1.9 1.6
Trent 1.5 1.6
East Anglia
South Western 1.2 1.4
North East Thames 1.7 1.1
North West Thames
South East Thames 1.4 1.1
South West Thames
England 1.6 1.5