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UK Against Fluoridation

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Houses of Parliament

Photo of Paul BeresfordPaul Beresford Chair, Administration Committee 


I am delighted to serve under your guidance, Mr Streeter, and I congratulate my hon. Friend Kevin Hollinrake on securing the debate. A disadvantage of being the only practising dentist in the House is having to remember that the Commission is watching, so I have to declare it, Mr Streeter.

As Sir Kevin Barron will know, as a dentist I am instantly lobbied by the likes of the British Dental Association, and I will stick to that area. As he said, around 10% of the antibiotics that are dispensed are for dental pains and dental problems. Hundreds of thousands of people swarm into GP surgeries and A&Es and they are given pills like lollipops to take away, but the solution is only temporary and does not solve the problem. To ask the Minister one small thing, will she think about working on a system to increase the number of emergency dentists that are available, because dental action, not pills, is needed?

Dental action can take many forms. Part of stopping the broad provision of antibiotics is straight prevention. In the case of dentistry, that is relatively simple. The cause of the majority of dental pain requiring antibiotics is decay and that is totally preventable. I am delighted that Sara Hurley, the new chief dental officer, is really moving on that issue. She is making changes so that kids are taught, from the moment that their teeth arrive right the way through to their school years, about brushing their teeth and using fluoride toothpaste to prevent decay. Many of the hundreds of thousands of patients who go into A&E are children suffering from swollen faces, pain, sleepless nights and so on. They are given antibiotics to tide them over until they have teeth taken out. In England, some 900 kids a week are given general anaesthetics to have their teeth out. That is appalling and preventable. I encourage the Minister to work with the chief dental officer, the health and wellbeing bodies and charities to prevent the need for any antibiotics—or at least, to reduce the antibiotics used—in dentistry by simply preventing dental decay.

No mention of fluoridation but.......

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