An ‘epidemic’ of childhood tooth decay in the fluoridated Republic of Ireland

28 Feb

Background information: Ireland, the only country in the European Union with a nationwide mandate for water fluoridation -via the Health (Fluoridation of Water Supplies) Act 1960, which mandated compulsory fluoridation by local authorities. 3,250,000 Irish people receive artificially-fluoridated water.

Geren Island Water Treatment FacilityThe agent used is hydrofluorosilicic acid. Corrosive to most metals it eats through concrete and Hazmat suits (impermeable whole-body garments must be worn to handle it as a gas may be released which damages the lungs. This and other adverse health effects are listed by NIOSH (US government agency).

private member’s bill to end fluoridation was defeated in the Dáil on 12 November 2013. It was supported by Sinn Féin and some of the technical group and opposed by the Fine Gael-Labour government and Fianna Fáil.

Early in 2014, Cork County Council and Laois County Council passed motions for the cessation of water fluoridation. In Autumn 2014, Cork City Council, Dublin City Council and Kerry County Council passed similar motions.

irsih-jda-coverToday, Aaron Rogan in The Times reports that a study by University College Cork published in this month’s Journal of the Irish Dental Association found that 60% of the 347 Irish children who required dental treatment under general anaesthetic before they turned five needed teeth extracted.

Michaela Dalton, president of the HSE dental surgeons group describes it as an ‘epidemic of tooth decay’. “Juices and yoghurts are rotting babies’ teeth but are being sold as replacements for fruit. Sugary cereal bars are sold as healthy snacks. They’re labelled as no-added sugar and all-natural but they have concentrated fruit sugars, which are really acidic and rotting teeth” Dr Dalton said.

Another significant finding was that despite a long-established link between economic disadvantage and dental problems, there was no significant class difference for preschool children requiring treatment under general anaesthetic.

“Disadvantaged children have a higher risk of requiring a dental general anaesthesia in their lifetime; however, this is not occurring in isolation, with their equivalents in the higher social group also placing a strain on the system,” the study said.

The programme for government explicitly mentioned that preschool oral health intervention would save the taxpayer money – but the expensive water fluoridation programme already compulsory in Ireland is universally ‘sold’ as an oral health intervention. 





5 Responses to “An ‘epidemic’ of childhood tooth decay in the fluoridated Republic of Ireland”

  1. Chris Price March 1, 2017 at 12:14 am #

    In Ireland, water supplied by local government is required by law to be fluoridated. However, water supplied by local community “group schemes”, or from private wells, is nearly always non-fluoridated. As a result, less urbanised regions of Ireland have a patchwork of fluoridated and non-fluoridated water supplies serving communities in
    close proximity.

  2. nationalfluoridationnews March 2, 2017 at 2:37 am #

    How does Ireland compare to other comparable nations regarding children’s tooth decay?

  3. admin March 2, 2017 at 5:18 am #

    A good question for its Minister for Health – online search quickly reveals:

    The level of tooth decay is higher among Irish children than those in Britain, the annual seminar of the Public Dental Surgeons Group in Wexford has heard.

    (2009) Oral health researcher Dr Carmel Parnell said that more than one in five Irish eight-year-olds had experienced decay in their permanent teeth while half of 12-year-olds had tooth decay. That figure rose to 75 per cent for 15-year-olds.
    She said the severity of decay being experienced by Irish children was also of concern. “A substantial proportion of children at five, 12 and 15 years of age have experienced decay in five teeth or more,” Dr Parnell said.

    While there is no national data on the oral health of preschool children, she said local surveys provided grounds for concern. One such survey found that 27 per cent of three-year-olds had decay.

    (2016) “Anecdotal evidence suggests that cavities in children are on the increase,” says Dr. Rose-Marie Daly, a consultant paediatric dentist at the Bon Secours Hospital Tralee, Co. Kerry. “According to a number of regional surveys, approximately one third of children have experienced decay by the age of three.”

    !!!!! Fluoride avoidance – using filtered water, or low-fluoride toothpaste – may be contributing to this increase, along with the consumption of “no added sugar” drinks, which parents assume are a safe option.

    (2015) – cited world map of dental caries at age 12 (2003) available via Google images.

    There appears to be an understandable reluctance to do further surveys . . .

  4. amnesiaclinic March 3, 2017 at 8:24 pm #

    Reblogged this on amnesiaclinic and commented:
    Shocking. This needs to be stopped with more education about the sources of sugar and tooth decay.


  1. An ‘Epidemic’ of Childhood Tooth Decay in the Fluoridated Republic of Ireland – Dental News Pakistan - April 12, 2017

    […] original source of this article is Chemical Concern Copyright © Chemical Concern, Chemical Concern, 2017 April 12, 2017 […]

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