A NEW report claims that adding fluoride to water should be considered by councils across England after it was found to reduce tooth decay and improve overall dental health.
But Bristol, which does not currently receive fluoridated water, is unlikely to see its introduction any time soon.
Supplier Bristol Water said fluoride was a health issue and the decision on adding it should be made by health professionals.
Bristol City Council – which has the power to compel the supplier to fluoridate the water supply – is currently considering the report and its implications for the city. However, any proposal for the city's water to be fluoridated would need to go out to public consultation before it could be implemented.
The Government's public health advisory body, Public Health England, has urged councils to act after reviewing the impact of water fluoridation on children in areas where it has been introduced.
Around six million people – 10 per cent of the population – currently live in areas with fluoridated water supplies and PHE said it was a "safe and effective" public health measure.
Its review found that in fluoridated areas, there were 45 per cent fewer children aged one to four admitted to hospital for treatment for tooth decay. Levels of general tooth decay were 15 per cent lower for five-year-olds and 11 per cent lower for 12-year-olds.
In the past it has been suggested water fluoridation can increase the risk of some cancers, hip fractures and Down's syndrome but PHE looked for these signs of harm, and found none.
In England, 14 out of 152 local authorities have water fluoridation schemes in place. In these areas the level of fluoride in the water is adjusted to one part per million.
Birmingham was the first place to fluoridate water in the 1960s and since then, other areas across the Midlands and in the north have taken the step.
In Bristol there is a naturally-occurring level of fluoride, of between 0.1 and 0.3 parts per million.
A Bristol Water spokesman said: "We do not add – and currently have no plans to add – fluoride to the water we supply.
"The water we supply naturally contains between 0.1 and 0.3 mg/l (parts per million) of fluoride, which is not removed during treatment. The maximum concentration of fluoride allowed in the water is 1.5 mg/l. There is no minimum limit.
"In the past, local health authorities could ask water companies to artificially fluoridate the water supply, but the companies could refuse. Legislation in 2008 gave the authorities the power to compel companies to fluoridate the water supply, after public consultation.
"Fluoride is a health issue. We believe that health professionals should make decisions about health measures, not water companies."
A city council spokeswoman said: "We will look at the recommendations in Public Health England's report in depth and consider the implications for Bristol."