The format of this page is

  • A summary of the key points relevant up to 2020
  • An online and printable version of the 2012/3 publication “one in a million”
  • A summary of the main points raised by more recent papers and reports
  • Access to a list of the key papers and reports published since 2012/3
  • Access to an archive of other reports etc.

Key Points (Updated 2020)

  • Fluoridation is supported by the World Heath Organisation, the Federation Dentaire Internationale and the International Association for Dental Research as a safe and effective means of reducing tooth decay.
  • The British Fluoridation Society is very grateful to The Borrow Foundation ( for their support.
  • Fluoridation is supported by the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the British Medical Association, the British Dental association, the US Public Health Service and many other medical, dental and scientific organisations in the UK and around the world (list correct at 2012; update pending).
  • Independently conducted opinion surveys over the past 30 years have generally shown that a significant majority of people in the UK think fluoride should be added to water if it can reduce tooth decay. Many people interviewed in these surveys think their water has already been fluoridated and that they are therefore benefiting from it when, in reality, their water is not fluoridated.
  • BFS Press Release January 2021 – New Preventative Approach To Dental Decision Making Welcomed 

One in a Million

Our One in a Million online database includes a comprehensive section on support for water fluoridation.


Support for water fluoridation (3rd edition, 2012)


Support For Water Fluoridation

Summary of Data Published Post 2012/2013

  • The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in its 2020 report State of Child Health asks that “the UK government should provide resource and support for Local Authorities to implement fluoridation of public water supplies, particularly for areas where there is a high prevalence of tooth decay”.
  • In an interview with the British Dental Journal the Rt Hon Alan Johnson, former Secretary of State for Health, noted “there are libertarians who argue that people should be free to choose what they consume. But not everyone has the luxury of choice, so it’s an elitist position….there are some measures that a civilised and educated society must allow to happen, whether it’s adding chlorine to water to prevent cholera, a universal vaccination programme, not smoking in public areas, fortification of flour to prevent spina bifida or water fluoridation, they are there for the greater good”.
  • The UK government’s chief medical officers have released a 2021 joint statement supportive of water fluoridation: “Tooth decay is a significant, yet largely preventable, public health problem in the UK. It affects people at all stages of life and is the most common oral disease in children.Water fluoridation schemes involve adding fluoride to community drinking water supplies in areas of low natural fluoride. There is strong scientific evidence that water fluoridation is an effective public health intervention for reducing the prevalence of tooth decay and improving oral health inequalities across the UK.”
  • 2020 research confirms continued overwhelming support for water fluoridation:Public attitudes to water fluoridation in the North East of England. Lowry RJ, Brophy R, Lennon MA. Br Dent J 2021; Reference 2: A review of opinion polls concerning water fluoridation carried out in the United Kingdom between 1997 and 2007  paper;  Reference 4: Public attitudes on dental health and water fluoridation in the West Midlands 2010 paper.
  • Public support in Scotland is affirmed in this 2022 paper: Public attitudes to water fluoridation in Scotland Colwyn Jones,  Raymond J. Lowry  and Rita Brophy. British Dental Journal 2022, vol 233,  pp218. 

    Br Dent J 2022;

  • Two papers (2021/2) touch on support for fluoridation in two novel ways: firstly, political ( Lowery, G., Flinders, M. and Gibson, B. (2021) When evidence alone is not enough: the problem, policy and politics of water fluoridation in England, Evidence & Policy , vol xx, no xx, 1󲀓17, DOI: 10.1332/174426420X16079614941921) and secondly the misinformation that has probably held back the issue ( Charlotte Sleigh, honorary professor in science and technology studies UCL, UK. Fluoridation of drinking water in the UK, c.1962-67: A case study in scientific misinformation before social media. Evidence & Policy • vol xx • no xx • 1–17 • © Policy Press 2021  Print ISSN 1744-2648 • Online ISSN 1744-2656 •