To enhance the oral health of all residents the council is taking the lead in advocating for the expansion of water fluoridation to the whole of the county.
Water fluoridation, a scientifically proven method of adding small amounts of fluoride to drinking water, is a key player in the fight against tooth decay.
Already, 30% of Nottinghamshire residents, around 247,000 people, are reaping the benefits of this public health measure.
The Council is now setting its sights on extending these benefits to other areas of the County.
The potential rewards are impressive: a 35% reduction in decayed, missing and filled teeth in fiver-year-old children, a 56% decrease in hospital admissions for tooth extractions in children from the most deprived areas, and a remarkable return of £12.71 after five years and £21.98 after ten years for every £1 invested in fluoridation.
Councillor Dr John Doddy, Chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board, who proposed the approved motion to champion the oral health agenda, stated:
“This is a health inequality that is completely preventable.
“If we fluoridated the water across Nottinghamshire, we would see a 15% increase in five-year-old children who are completely free of dental decay at all and there would be a significant reduction of people going into hospital for tooth extractions.
“The evidence for fluoridation is irrefutable, it’s backed by the World Health Organisation, the British dental associations are calling out for it as well. We want to bring together partners and organisations across our county, to work together to improve the oral health of everyone in our county.”
The County Council will foster collaboration with partners across the county, including district and borough councils, Nottingham City Council, Integrated Care Boards, Integrated Care System, and the water companies to delve into the benefits of the wate fluoridations scheme. While the final decision rests with Central Government, Nottinghamshire County Council is actively lobbying for new or varied schemes.
Any changes to water fluoridation will involve a public consultation led by the Government.