Public Health England

Recommended for oral health improvement

Community water fluoridation is recommended by Public Health England for oral health improvement.  This is based on its analysis of four key assessment criteria, including the strength of the evidence; the impact on reducing inequalities; cost implications; and implementation.  PHE has concluded that the evidence on the effectiveness of fluoridation is ‘strong’. (1)

Particularly beneficial for individuals and communities at increased risk of tooth decay

PHE says “reviews of studies conducted around the world confirm that water fluoridation is an effective, safe public health measure”  Significantly, PHE stresses that water fluoridation is “the only intervention to improve dental health that does not require sustained behaviour change over many years” and that it is “particularly beneficial for individuals and communities at increased risk of tooth decay, such as those from more deprived backgrounds and other vulnerable groups”. (2)

Reassurance on effectiveness and safety

In 2014, PHE published a monitoring report comparing dental and non-dental health indicators across fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas of England.  Having found less tooth decay among children in areas with fluoridation schemes than in areas without them, and having found no evidence of harm to people’s general health, PHE said this provided “further reassurance” about the measure’s effectiveness and safety. (3)

  1. Public Health England (2014). Local authorities improving oral health: commissioning better oral health for children and young people.

  2. Public Health England (2016). Improving oral health: a community water fluoridation toolkit for local authorities.

  3. Public Health England (2014). Water fluoridation health monitoring report for England