Plans to serve up milk with fluoride added to it at primary schools across Blackpool are back on the agenda.
Councillors will sit down to discuss the plans in December – almost two years after putting off a decision because a study in the North East showed higher than expected levels of fluoride in children using the ‘dental milk’.
It could be introduced in a bid to tackle tooth decay, although regular milk would still be available for those who don’t want it, the council said.
Coun Eddie Collett, the cabinet member responsible for reducing health inequalities at Blackpool Council, said: “Around 40 per cent of our five-year-olds have tooth decay and each year around 400 Blackpool children are admitted to hospital for tooth extraction.
“We are reviewing our oral health strategy and considering a range of interventions including the possibility of providing fluoridated milk through schools.”
Public Health England (PHE) said it is ‘unaware of any scientific evidence showing dental milk is a cause of ill health’ but said those who have regular fluoride tablets or rinse should not drink it.
Around 40 per cent of our five-year-olds have tooth decay and each year around 400 Blackpool children are admitted to hospital for tooth extraction.Coun Eddie Collett
Dr Doug Cross, from UK Councils Against Fluoridation, warned: “Fluoride allows aluminium to accumulate in the brain over a long period of time and it’s an environmental cause of Alzheimer’s.
“Why would anybody give children milk with fluoride in it? It’s totally mad.”
Dental consultant at PHE Melanie Catleugh said: “Poor oral health can affect children’s and young people’s ability to sleep, eat, speak, play and socialise with other children.”