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Systematic review of cessation of water fluoridation (2016)

A recent systematic review of the dental health effects of cessation of water fluoridation (1) has concluded that “overall, the published research points more to an increase in dental caries post-CWF cessation than otherwise”.

The review analysed data from 15 instances of CWF cessation in 13 countries, which covered a broad time frame (1956 to 2003) and diverse geographical and political/economic contexts.

BFS has made the author aware of an important early UK study which was not included in the review (2), but would likely further strengthen this conclusion.


  1. McLaren L, Singhal S.  Does cessation of community water fluoridation lead to an increase in tooth decay? A systematic review of published studies J Epidemiol Community Health 2016;70:934-940.  Available at https://jech.bmj.com/content/70/9/934

  2. Department of Health and Social Security. (1969)  The fluoridation studies in the United Kingdom and the results achieved after eleven years.  Appendix  “The Kilmarnock studies by Professor John Mansbridge”   HMSO. London.