Conflicting views on benefits of fluoridated milk

Dental health among Blackpool's youngsters is poor according to council leaders

Dental health among Blackpool's youngsters is poor according to council leaders

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Moves to introduce fluoridated milk into Blackpool have been called into question by the leader of the Tories on Blackpool Council.

Coun Tony Williams, who raised concerns about the move when it was first put forward in 2013, says there is conflicting evidence about the impact of adding the mineral to children’s diets.

Coun Tony Williams

Coun Tony Williams

He is urging parents in the town to raise any concerns with teachers or councillors.

Blackpool Council’s executive committee is due to consider proposals tomorrow to introduce fluoridated milk in a bid to reduce high levels of tooth decay in the town.

Coun Williams said: “Could it be the free breakfast scheme has actually added to the problem? Some residents have pointed out at least children eating breakfasts at home are usually told to brush their teeth before leaving for school, while those having a snack bar breakfast at school have to wait until the end of the day to clean their teeth.

“I have said before in 2013 when the idea of fluoride in Blackpool school milk was first suggested, wouldn’t it make more sense to issue every child with a constant supply of small tubes of non fluoride toothpaste and tooth brushes and introduce a regular brushing routine at school.

“If you are a concerned parent I would speak to your local councillors and head teachers as soon as possible and let them know your feelings and preference in regard to your own children.”

The proposal to introduce fluoridated milk comes as figures show almost half of 12-year-olds in Blackpool have at least one decayed, missing or filled tooth – much higher than the national average of 33 per cent.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet secretary for Blackpool Council, said better brushing had been encouraged but more had to be done to improve dental health.

Parents will be given the option to opt out.

A study carried out in Blackpool last year revealed children in the town have lower than normal levels of fluoride in their bodies.