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06-Dec-2003, 09:52 PM
Post: #1

Fluoride: If you want it

FLUORIDE could soon be added to tap water in Chorley and South Ribble households if the public demand it.

Government ministers have voted to give the go-ahead to add fluoride to the UK's water supplies, believing it will fight tooth decay and iron out dental health inequalities between rich and poor areas.
The government has endorsed research by the Medical Research Council which found no evidence supporting claims that fluoride can have detrimental effects on the human immune system, on the reproductive system or on child development.
Labour's new Water Bill could pave the way for widespread fluoridation by allowing local health authorities to decide, after public consultation, whether to add fluoride to their water supplies.

I'm no expert on these matters. Would you like to see Flouride added to the water supply or do you think we already have too many chemicals in our food and drink?

Martin ~
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06-Dec-2003, 11:51 PM
Post: #2
I`m not a water expert either, Martin, why are the shops full of bottles of water? Adding fluoride will only increase its sale, seem to be a modern thing, walking around drinking out of a bottle of water here. Still got some of my teeth, and never been a favourite of water as a drink. W.R.
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07-Dec-2003, 04:36 AM
Post: #3

According to the American model, most Brits are seriously dehydrated. The standard here is to drink 64 fluid ounces of water per day! You tend to spend quite a lot of your day in the loo.

My take on fluoride is that the fluoridated toothpastes and the treatment at your annual check-up (you do have an annual dental exam, right?) are enough, but it would make a lot more sense to add it to sweets (candies), since that's what triggers most dental caries. Putting fluoride in what you use in the washer and flush down the loo seems a bit wasteful.

On the other hand, it has been shown to be very effective in improving dental health. I thought the whole of Lancashire had been adding it for eons. I was certainly under the impression that Leyland started doing so back in the early 60s. Since my wife was in the dental service, I'm sure I'd remember if we didn't have it. It was all the rage in England then.

Frank Damp

Frank Damp (wife Eileen, nee Nixon)
Leyland resident 1941-1965, emigrated to the US in 1968,
retired to Anacortes, Washington State, USA in 1999.
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07-Dec-2003, 09:40 AM
Post: #4
Frank, Dental check every six months here, fail to go and you are struck off the List. The Dentist takes an Examination Fee each time and is loathe to remove any teeth, because he loses a source of revenue. Free Dental treatment - only if you are receiving Income Support or some of the other handouts. I agree that Fluoride could be added at the point of use, sweets etc, but the do-gooders would have a field-day with that, taking away freedom to choose. My grandchildren have suffered for years with decay due to "healthy" orange juice (dilute to taste), which requires constant treatment by the dentist, for which he gets a fee from the NHS. Do I detect that dentists would be in the front rank objecting to the addition of fluoride, because of the loss of revenue? Sorry, Linda D, its only my opinion! William R.
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07-Dec-2003, 02:07 PM
Post: #5
William, no - dentists are all for fluoride added to the water supply. There will still be plenty of work! The North-West has an appalling dental health record - only deprived parts of Scotland have a higher decay rate than the area I work in. BTW, you will not be struck off an NHS dentist's list if you miss a 6 monthly check up - you are registered with that dentist so long as you attend at least every 15 months - but that only applies to the NHS, not private dentists.

Frank, as far as I know (having spent over 20 years in public health dentistry) the only area in the North West to have fluoridated water is the Leighton area of Crewe. It is added to water, rather than foods, because it's the most cost effective method. Fluoride toothpastes reduce decay by about 25%, but fluoridated water reduces it by 50%. My worry would be that modern children don't actually seem to consume much tap water, living off cola and Sunny D instead. Fluoride would not be added to bottled water - much of it is spring water and cannot have chemical additions or would not be "pure from the source" - however, one or two have quite high natural levels of fluoride anyway.

As to dentists repairing children's teeth, the NHS fee for restoring deciduous teeth is so paltry that more than a few dentists don't bother. Supervised neglect, it's called. I see the results when I do school screening - then we get the irate mothers calling in to ask why little Johnny got a letter when he was only at their own dentist a fortnight earlier and he never said anything about any decayed teeth. [V] Bravo to any NHS dentist who is repairing decayed deciduous teeth as the current fee doesn't cover the practice running costs, let alone give the dentist any profit. Luckily I am salaried, so I have the luxury of providing the treatment needed without worrying whether it will put me in the red!

My department sees over 30 children every week for general anaesthetic (a major and potentially life-threatening experience) and extraction of an average of 5 or 6 teeth a piece. Bring on the fluoride, I say!
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07-Dec-2003, 03:51 PM
Post: #6
Hi Linda D, Thanks for a good write-up, I didn`t mean to run down the service, `twas just an opinion. The water here is taken from the River Trent at Elvington and is reputed to be very good, (makes good Tea, as you know). The treatment plant is open to the public at times and is worth a visit to see the trouble they go to to ensure the quality. I can only speak from experience of my dentist, who restored my faith in the service, post Grundy. He had just set up in practice and is now most respected. No more for now Linda, am eating the humble pie with the few teeth I have left plus some extras. A certain lady will be going to see him very soon in the New Year. Regards, William R.
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07-Dec-2003, 04:05 PM
Post: #7
I agree with Frank, if archives of newspapers of the late sixties or early seventies were reviewed,I believe that one would find the same argument and recommendation regarding flouridation of water supplies in the Preston and Leyland area, I remember the outcome being the recommendation to flouridate the water supply. I believe that the ownership and management of the water supply has changed dramatically in recent years, could this be the reason flouridation is apparently not continued ?
Re genereal dental standards, prior to emigrating , my sons received the regular attention of the local Longton dentist. It soon became apparent that the standard of dentistry that my sons had received was abysmal !.
The standard of British dentistry is an acknowledged joke, frequently I have noted references associating British dentistry with 'awful teeth'.
On the other hand, I now note the usual North American mouth, with large white uniformed teeth glaring at you , its almost as though the teeth dominate the person, its entirely false,perhaps it's a statement,( ie. 'Look at my teeth, they've cost a fortune'), there is some indefinable insincere property about the whole experience !

Alan M
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07-Dec-2003, 07:00 PM
Post: #8
The BBC once had a panel to determine correct pronunciation (may still have) consisting of a few academics and literary figures. George Bernard Shaw was naturally one of the panelists and the question arose about the correct way to pronounce 'canine'. Shaw immediately opted for 'K-nine' as the correct pronunciation, at which one of the panelists remarked, "You must have an American dentist!" GBS retorted, "Of course! How else would I have all my teeth at age 85?"

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07-Dec-2003, 07:10 PM
Post: #9
Lnda D. Thank-you for your most enlightening post. As you say , `what`s the point of treating water`, if at the end of the day - `you have lead the child to water but cannot make him drink`.

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07-Dec-2003, 08:06 PM
Post: #10
Wasn't there a bit of a fuss a couple of years ago, about fluoride causing black marks on teeth?


T. D.
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