Nottinghamshire County Council logo

Water fluoridation would help improve oral health for Nottinghamshire residents

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Cllr John Doddy, Chair of Nottinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board

As a GP, taking care of my patients’ health is my top priority. I deal with many different health conditions with various levels of seriousness and my aim is always to get my patients back to the best state of health they can achieve.

An area where I am keen to see improvement is oral health. Many children in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire experience worse dental health than in other parts of the country and in the UK tooth decay is the most common reason for children between the ages of six and ten to be admitted to hospital. Poor oral health can affect the development and learning of children, as well as causing preventable pain and treatment.

For the past year, as the Chair of Nottinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board, I’ve been advocating to extend water fluoridation to the whole of Nottinghamshire. Some parts of the county have been covered by water fluoridation schemes since the 1970s, while other areas and Nottingham City are not covered at all. 

The partners working together on this initiative – Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County councils and the Integrated Care Board – have co-signed a letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to request that the current water fluoridation scheme is expanded to the whole of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. In January, I travelled to the Department of Health and Social Care in London, with Jonathan Gribbin, the former Director of Public Health for Nottinghamshire, to hand deliver the letter on behalf of partners.

In Nottinghamshire, the county council already commissions oral health services for children including oral health training for staff working with children and targeted supervised toothbrushing in schools. All drinking water contains fluoride to some extent and by adjusting this to the optimal level for reducing tooth decay, we can make a significant difference to local people’s oral health and complement the health promotion activities already taking place in our communities.

Water fluoridation has been shown to reduce the likelihood and extent of tooth decay in both adults and children and evidence shows it to be a safe and effective public health measure. If the Secretary of State decides to consider our request, there will be a long journey ahead which will include a public consultation to ensure local people and organisations have a chance to have a say. If implemented, it could be the most effective and lasting programme of oral health improvement in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire in a generation.

Download images

Find us on

Visit our YouTube channel Visit our X channel Visit our Facebook page Visit our Instagram page Visit our Linkedin page

Share this article