Forum on Fluoridation

The Forum on Fluoridation published its report on 10 September 2002. The full report and its executive summary are available under the Background section of the Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health's website www.fluoridesandhealth.ie. The Expert Body was established by the Minister for Health and Children, Micheál Martin TD, in April 2004 to implement the Recommendations of the Forum Report.

The Forum on Fluoridation concluded that:

  • Water fluoridation has been very effective in improving the oral health of the Irish population, especially of children, but also of adults and the elderly.
  • The best available and most reliable scientific evidence indicates that at the maximum permitted level of fluoride in drinking water at 1 part per million, human health is not adversely affected.
  • Dental fluorosis (a form of discolouration of tooth enamel) is a well-recognised condition and an indicator of overall fluoride absorption, whether from natural sources, fluoridated water or the inappropriate use of fluoride toothpaste at a young age. There is evidence that the prevalence of dental fluorosis is increasing in Ireland.

The recommendations of the Forum on water fluoridation are intended to assist health care providers, public health officials, policy makers and the public in achieving maximum protection against dental decay and to minimise the occurrence of dental fluorosis.

The recommendations deal with the following topics:

  1. Policy aspects of water fluoridation.
  2. Technical aspects of water fluoridation.
  3. Fluoride toothpaste.
  4. Oral health care industry
  5. Infant formula.
  6. Fluoride research
  7. Education, information and public participation
  8. Public health and professional practice