Press Release

Tooth decay levels are lower among children with fluoridated domestic water supplies than they are among those with no domestic water fluoridation

Mr Seán Power TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, today launched the “North South Survey of Children’s Oral Health in Ireland”. This report is an important component of a larger research project commissioned by the Department of Health and Children to evaluate national oral health and dental services. One of the main aims of the latest survey was to measure levels of oral health in children and adolescents in Ireland, and to compare these data with local surveys conducted in the 1990’s and a national oral health survey in 1984.

Speaking at the launch, the Minister said that ”there has been a major decline in dental caries levels amongst school children in Ireland since 1984 and decay levels are lower among children who get fluoride in their water supply than those who do not”. For example, among 15 year olds studied, the survey shows that adolescents in the Republic of Ireland, where the public water supplies are fluoridated, have 40% fewer decayed, missing or filled teeth than their counterparts in Northern Ireland where the public water supply is not fluoridated.

Minister Power said that “although decay levels are higher amongst the less well off, it has been found that fluoridation is effective in both disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged groups. In contrast to many other health promotion activities, water fluoridation prevents tooth decay across the social divide”.

Download the Report