Water fluoridation is a measure to prevent caries, a disease of significant public health importance. Caries, when not managed, result in pain and discomfort for individuals and have further implications for the health and well-being of the affected individual, such as retarded growth and development of pre-school children. The huge cost of managing caries has significant impact on the allocation of public health funding.
Different management strategies have been employed to prevent caries. Behaviour based interventions to reduce individual’s exposure to caries’ risk factors such as a reduction in sugar consumption, have limited success. Public water fluoridation is a cost-effective approach to facilitate access of populations to systematic fluoride and, in turn, reduce caries.
The effectiveness of water fluoridation is still being extensively debated globally. First, there is contradictory evidence on its effectiveness in preventing caries and there are reported risks of adverse effects such as dental and skeletal fluorosis. There are also debates weighing up the potential health benefits in the context of ethical principles and personal liberties. Fluoridation reduces the risk of ill health in a manner which protects the vulnerable and reduces health outcome inequality between the different socioeconomic groups. Those who oppose fluoridation do so on the grounds that it is unethical to coerce individuals to live healthy lives, and emphasises the importance of consent before any health intervention.
Given the level of interest in public water fluoridation, the range and complexity of the public debate, and its implication for policy making, this Collection aims to bring together empirical research papers, and theoretical and conceptual analyses about water fluoridation and caries. The Collection will consider manuscripts on the following three themes:
- Population level impact of the introduction or the cessation of water fluoridation on health
- Barriers to the implementation of fluoridation and reasons for its cessation, including the assessment and evaluation of the attitudes and knowledge of members of the public, dental professionals and policy makers on water fluoridation
- Ethical arguments for and against water fluoridation
If you have any research you would like us to consider, please submit directly to BMC Oral Health stating in your cover letter that you wish to be considered for the Collection “Something in the Water”
To view the articles already published in this Collection, please visit our website: https://www.biomedcentral.com/collections/Fluoride
Alternatively you can email your pre-submission queries to Jenny Harman (Jennifer.email@example.com).