HC Deb 14 June 1991 vol 192 cc683-6W
Mr. Shersby

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the water supply in England and Wales is now fluoridated artificially; and what is his policy for ensuring the optimum level of fluoridation in the interests of securing better dental health.

Mr. Dorrell

Some 12 per cent. of the population in England and Wales receive water where the fluoride content has been artificially increased. It is for health authorities to decide whether or not to ask water authorities to increase local fluoride levels. Where arrangements are made the Water (Fluoridation) Act 1985 requires that they should include provisions to ensure that, as far as reasonably practicable, the concentration of fluoride is maintained at 1 milligram per litre which is the optimal level for reducing dental caries.

Mr. Shersby

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his policy for improving the dental health of children in the ethnic minitory communities; what specific steps he is taking to ensure that children receive regular dental examinations and treatment and are encouraged to use toothpaste containing fluoride; what specific resources are being devoted by regional and district health authorities to implement any such programmes; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Dorrell

It is the responsibility of district health authorities to monitor the dental health of all age and ethnic groups in the population, to provide dental health education and preventive programmes and to screen the teeth of children in state-funded schools at least three times in each child's school life. Any advice on oral hygiene would include a description of the benefits of regular brushing of teeth and the use of toothpastes, the majority of which now contain fluoride.

To meet these objectives district health authorities through the community dental services will need to monitor levels of dental health throughout the population, to identify special needs, to encourage the use of the general dental service and to provide a safety net service of treatment for those whose needs cannot be met in the general dental service.

The resources devoted by any particular regional or district health authority to any programme will be a matter for the authority concerned; there will inevitably be variations between regions and districts reflecting the differences in the dental health of the population.

Mr. Shersby

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish in tabular form details of the average number of decayed, missing or filled permanent teeth in 12-year-old children in England in each district health authority.

Mr. Dorrell

The most recent dental caries prevalence surveys by health districts of 12-year-old children were carried out during 1988–89. Not all health districts were represented in the surveys, which were co-ordinated by the British Association for Community Dentistry (BASCD). The average number of decayed, missing or filled permanent teeth (DMFT) in each district surveyed is shown in the table.

Table: Survey of 12-year-old children by health district 1988–89
District DMFT
Burnley et al 3.09
Tameside and Glossop 2.73
St. Helens and Knowsley 2.70
Salford 2.69
Oldham 2.63
Central Manchester 2.60
North Manchester 2.49
Blackburn et al 2.21
Lancaster 2.16
Pontefract 2.14
Liverpool 2 14
Wigan 2.11
Airedale 2.09
Bolton 2.03
Blackpool et al 2.03
Bury 2.02
Barnsley 2.02
Halton 2.01
South Sefton 1.98
York 1.96
Sheffield 1.95
Cornwall 1.93
Trafford 1.92
Leeds Eastern 1.92
Ealing 1.88
Preston 1.87
Exeter 1.86
South Cumbria 1.82
Bradford 1.81
South Tees 1.80
West Lancashire 1.79
Wirral 1.77
Rotherham 1.77
Chester 1.77

District DMFT
Leeds Western 1.74
South Manchester 1.73
North Staffordshire 1.72
Stockport 1.71
Sandwell 1.71
Hounslow and Spelthorne 1.71
Walsall 1.69
Richmond and Twickenham 1.69
Wakefield 1.65
Plymouth 1.64
North Tees 1.64
Macclesfield 1.64
North Derbyshire 1.62
Chorley and South Ribble 1.59
Wolverhampton 1.58
Nottingham 1.58
Northumberland 1.55
Rochdale 1.54
East Cumbria 1.53
Swindon 1.52
Bassetlaw 1.52
Leicestershire 1.52
West Berkshire 1.51
Scarborough 1.50
Herefordshire 1.48
Hillingdon 1.47
Mid Staffordshire 1.46
Central Nottinghamshire 1.43
East Berkshire 1.43
Cheltenham and Gloucester 1.42
Basildon and Thurrock 1.41
Crewe 1.40
Mid Surrey 1.40
Torbay 1.39
Darlington 1.39
South Tyneside 1.38
East Yorkshire 1.38
Durham 1.38
South Derbyshire 1.37
South West Durham 1.36
North West Surrey 1.35
Winchester 1.34
Dudley 1.34
Somerset 1.33
West Cumbria 1.32
Tower Hamlets 1.32
North West Durham 1.32
Coventry 1.32
West Dorset 1.31
Hull 1.31
Sunderland 1.30
Aylesbury Vale 1.29
Avon 1.29
Harrow 1.28
Merton and Sutton 1.28
Huddersfield 1.28
Islington 1.27
Warrington 1.26
South Lincolnshire 1.26
North Tyneside 1.25
Bath 1.25
Wandsworth 1.25
East Surrey 1.24
Calderdale 1.24
North West Hertfordshire 1.23
Hampstead 1.23
Scunthorpe 1.22
Newcastle 1.22
Northampton 1.21
Medway 1.20
East Birmingham 1.20
Shropshire 1.19
South West Surrey 1.19
Newham 1.19
North Warwickshire 1.19
Kidderminster 1.17
East Dorset 1.17
Southampton 1.16

District DMFT
South East Staffordshire 1.16
Kettering 1.16
Worcester 1.16
South Bedfordshire 1.15
West Surrey and North East Hampshire 1.14
Bloomsbury 1.13
Salisbury 1.11
Milton Keynes 1.11
Central Birmingham 1.11
Portsmouth 1.09
Camberwell 1.06
North Lincolnshire 1.06
North Hertfordshire 1.05
Grimsby 1.04
West Birmingham 1.03
Wycombe 1.01
Barking et al 1.01
Isle of Wight 0.99
Northallerton 0.98
Croydon 0.97
Bromsgrove and Redditch 0.97
South Warwickshire 0.95
North Birmingham 0.94
Harrogate 0.94
Solihull 0.93
Barnet 0.93
East Hertfordshire 0.92
Gateshead 0.91
South Birmingham 0.89
Rugby 0.88
West Essex 0.82
North Bedfordshire 0.71
Hartlepool 0.71

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