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Johnson will argue that adding the mineral to tap water is necessary to prevent tooth decay among children who do not brush their teeth regularly.
“Fluoride is only being added to prevent tooth decay among a relatively small proportion of the population, mostly children in deprived areas who do not brush their teeth. These children are already being identified and treated in more effective ways.”
Johnson points out that in the Irish Republic, where more than 70% of water is fluoridated, the average number of decayed, missing and filled teeth per child is just 1.3 compared with 2.3 in Northern Ireland, where fluoridation has not been implemented.
Of Britain’s 10 primary care trusts with the best child dental health, seven have some fluoride, natural or added, in the water supply. In all 10 of the primary care trusts at the bottom of the tooth decay league table, tap water is not fluoridated.
In America, 70% of people use fluoridated water and it has been added to the supply of all US cities. In Australia the figure is 67 per cent.
However, the blanket fluoridation programme will be opposed by campaigners who say the entire population will be forced to take “medication” because a minority fail to brush their teeth.
Skeletal fluorosis is a debilitating condition that occurs when fluoride accumulates in bones, making them extremely weak and brittle. In parts of China, India and Turkey where water is naturally high in fluoride, residents tend to age early and die before the age of 50, weak, arthritic and hunched over.