According to a report in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, Israel is set to reintroduce water fluoridation of its public water supply system in a move that will potentially benefit more than 5 million people in communities including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.

It follows a vote in the Knesset’s Labour, Social Welfare and Health Committee to approve proposals from Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman, who pledged to reverse the decision of his predecessor Yael German to terminate the regulations that permit fluoridation under Israeli law.

Figures from dental health research in Israel published in 2013 show that 12-year olds in (then) fluoridated Haifa had nearly 30% fewer decayed, missing and filled teeth than those from non-fluoridated Kfar Saba. Differences in levels of tooth decay between the most and least affluent children were significantly lower in Haifa than in Kfar Saba.