Fluoridation

The Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health, which operates under the aegis of the Department of Health, monitors new and emerging issues on fluoride and its effects on health and related matters.  The Expert Body advises that the balance of scientific evidence worldwide confirms that water fluoridation, at the optimal level, does not cause any ill effects and continues to be safe and effective in protecting the oral health of all age groups. The effects of fluoridation on health and related matters are kept under constant review.

As part of this ongoing work, the Health Research Board has undertaken an in-depth evidence review of existing research in relation to the health effects of community water fluoridation.  The review was published in June 2015 and is available here.

At present a research project Fluoride and Caring for Children’s Teeth (FACCT) is being conducted by the Oral Health Services Research Centre, University College Cork and supported by the HSE which has made available 10 examining teams with a HSE dentist and a dental nurse on each team. The study is considering the impact of changes on the oral health of children, following policy decisions relating to toothpaste use by infants and young children (2002) and the reduced level of fluoridation in drinking water (2007).

A study on general health and oral health findings in adults linked to the duration of systemic exposure to fluoridated water as part of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging (TILDA) is underway. The study fits with the requirements of Section 6 of the Health (Fluoridation of Water Supplies) Act 1960 which require the Minister to arrange, from time to time, for such studies as appear for him to be desirable to examine the impact of water fluoridation on general health and also on the relationship between water fluoridation and oral health.