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FDS comment on report highlighting benefits of water fluoridation in reducing tooth decay

21 Mar 2022

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) today (21st March) published a report into the benefits of water fluoridation in reducing tooth decay amongst young people. In response, Mr Matthew Garrett, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS) at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said:

“The Faculty of Dental Surgery supports the introduction of water fluoridation.  It is a safe and effective public health measure to reduce dental decay and inequalities in dental health.1

“Today’s report provides further evidence for this. It finds that children and young people in areas in England with higher fluoride concentrations were up to 63% less likely to be admitted to hospital for tooth extractions due to decay than those in areas with low fluoride concentrations. In the most deprived 20% of areas, the chance of five-year old children having cavities - or holes in their teeth - was 25% lower in areas with a fluoridation scheme than in areas without.

“Nearly a quarter of 5-year-olds experience dental caries and around 38,000 children and young people have teeth removed (due to decay) in hospital every year.  Yet only 10 per cent of the population in England lives in areas with fluoridation schemes. We urge the government to use the Health and Care Bill to expand water fluoridation schemes across the country, to reduce inequalities in children’s oral health.”


Notes to editors

1. In 2015 the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England published a Report on the State of Children's Oral Health — Royal College of Surgeons (

2. The Water fluoridation: health monitoring report for England 2022 report is available on

3. The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

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