It is clear that an overwhelming majority of residents in Southampton do not wish to have fluoride added to their water.
The NHS’ initial consultation attracted 10,000 responses, with 72 per cent against. In a separate and later phone poll of 2,000 residents, 38 per cent opposed fluoridation compared to 32 per cent in favour.
Whichever way you cut it local people have made it clear that they don’t want fluoride.
In a democratic, free country we should respect the views of majority. The NHS should therefore abandon their fluoridation plans for Southampton.
No one would deny that state of dental care in the country and in particular in Southampton needs urgent attention. Nationally tooth decay is now the third most common reason that children are admitted to hospital. The statistics for some parts of Southampton are truly shocking. However there are plenty of alternatives to fluoride.
An incoming Conservative Government would seek to transform NHS dentistry from a service that is currently in seemingly terminal decline to one which delivers high standards of care to everyone who needs it.
There needs to be a far greater emphasis on preventative care and other innovations that improve oral health. The Conservatives would remove perverse incentives, such being paid the same price to put in one filling as for ten, that drive dentists to provide unnecessary or incomplete treatments.
Conservatives also propose restoring access to dentists for the million people who have lost it due to the Government’s botched reforms, providing long term health and cost benefits. As capacity builds, dentists will move to patient registration, strengthened by giving people access to new information about the results dentists achieve, empowering choices.
By using money that is currently spent on carrying out unnecessary treatments we would instead reintroduce dental screening for children in schools, so that children aged five would have their oral health addressed.
We would also give dentists the freedom to charge patients who repeatedly miss appointments. Finally we would ensure that taxpayer trained dentists work for the NHS for at least five years.