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News / March 20, 2014

Oral health leaders back water fluoridation

by Guy Hiscott

Dental industry experts gathered together today (20 March) to discuss improving global oral health to celebrate World Oral Health Day 2014.

And the consensus was a common one – more work needs to be done to make good oral health a realistic goal for patients across the globe.

Professor David Williams, professor of global oral health at the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, called for the implementation of ‘radical’ strategies to improve oral health worldwide.

He singled out the need for water fluoridation – a topic under close scrutiny in Ireland this year – in particular.

He said: ‘We can reduce the risk of oral disease early on – educating and empowering people to make healthy and easy choices for their future.

‘Robust evidence shows that areas that are either naturally fluoridated or areas where fluoride is added to the water shows a drop in levels of tooth decay.

‘So the optimal population-level intervention is to fluoridate the water supply, then you reach everybody – including those people who are otherwise hard to reach.’

Jean-Luc Eisele, executive director of FDI World Dental Federation, emphasised the impact of World Oral Health Day, which helps to promote worldwide awareness of oral health.

More than 100 countries and 70 national dental associations are celebrating World Oral Health Day today, with more than 150 activities taking place across the world.

An attempt to break a national record for the highest number of people brushing simultaneously is taking place in Malaysia and free restorative treatments are being provided for children in Rwanda.

‘It’s a question about society taking a view on the importance of equity and fairness,’ concluded Professor Williams.

To find out more about World Oral Health Day 2014, an FDI World Dental Federation initiative, visit the website at

Photo: From left to right – Jean-Luc Eisele (executive director of FDI World Dental Federation), Professor David Williams (professor of global oral health) and Peter Ward (chief executive of the British Dental Association)

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