Water fluoridation – consultation launched on expansion in north east

The government has today launched a consultation expanding community water fluoridation schemes in the north east of England.

This comes as part of the NHS dental recovery plan that was launched last month in a bid to address the current access crisis.

The plan sets out a focus on prevention, which includes a long-term plan to bring water fluoridation to more of the country – with a focus on the most deprived areas, which it says stand to benefit the most.

The consultation focuses on a proposal to request the relevant water company to enter into new fluoridation arrangements, and to vary existing agreements, in order to expand community water fluoridation schemes across the north east of England.

The government can require water companies to increase the naturally occurring concentration of fluoride in water supplies to 1.0 mg/L. This is within the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended maximum level known to reduce tooth decay.

Reduce disparities

It proposes expansion to:

  • Darlington
  • Durham
  • Gateshead
  • Hartlepool
  • Middlesbrough
  • Newcastle
  • Northumberland
  • North Tyneside
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • South Tyneside
  • Stockton
  • Sunderland.

It says expanding community water fluoridation in the north east will generate a net social benefit of £315 million to help reduce tooth decay, disparities in dental health and NHS costs.

The deadline for responding is 11:59pm on 17 June 2024.

You can read or respond to the consultation here.

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