Letter: Save our teeth

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The Independent Culture
Save our teeth

Sir, There is no "choice" about fluoride. Minute amounts occur in all water (except deionised) - more than 1 part per million in some bottled waters. What is needed is national adjustment of fluoride levels to derive the benefits and reduce the trivial side-effects.

To suggest that reduction of refined sugar intake would reduce dental caries (letter, 14 January) is like King Canute being asked by his nobles to stop the tide. The vast majority of children I anaesthetized for extraction of carious teeth at the Dental Hospital in Sheffield over the last 26 years came from the poorer part of the city. The parents spent money on cigarettes, sweets and fizzy drinks but rarely on toothbrushes and toothpaste. I thank God that none of these children died from the treatment they needed for a disease easily prevented by simple water management, as with the reduction of bacterial diseases in the last century.

Dr ADRIAN PADFIELD

Sheffield

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