Could Fluoridated Milk Reduce the Risk of Tooth Decay?
Posted on 5/27/2016 by Allan Hablutzel
The addition to fluoride to municipal water supplies was one of the greatest public health advances in recent history, and it has done a lot to prevent tooth decay, especially among children. However, researchers believe that more steps can be taken to keep teeth healthy, and one possible solution is fluoridated milk.
Researchers Examine the Impact of Fluoridated Milk on Oral Health
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen recently completed a study to determine how adding fluoride to milk could affect childhood oral health. The study followed a cohort of Bulgarian children - all of whom were three years old - over the course of five years.
One of the groups received regular milk, while another group drank fluoridated milk. Throughout the study period, it was found that the kids who drank the fluoridated milk had significantly fewer cavities than the group that drank regular milk.
How Fluoridated Milk Can Help with Childhood Oral Health
According to the World Health Organization, a goal has been set to have 80% of six-year-old children free of cavities by 2020, and the organization hopes that 12 year olds only have a maximum of 1.5 teeth that have been affected by cavities. Adding fluoride to milk could be an inexpensive and easy way to reach those goals.
In fact, schools in the UK are starting to implement this preventive strategy. Blackpool, an economically challenged community in the UK, has approved the provision of fluoridated milk to school children. Since many families in the community are low-income, children do not frequently visit the dentist.
About 50% of 12 year olds in the community have at least one tooth that is filled, decayed, or missing, and 400 children in the town are admitted to the hospital each year as a result of extractions.
Adding fluoridated milk to the school's menu is an attempt to improve oral health for children without placing a significant financial burden on families.