Two thirds of people in England’s most extensively fluoridated region think fluoride should be added to water
More people - around 4 million - are supplied with fluoridated water in the West Midlands than anywhere else in England. In 2011 the results of a major opinion survey of the region’s residents were published by NHS West Midlands. Conducted by Ipsos MORI, the survey comprised face to face with a total of 3,516 people aged 16 and over drawn from every part of the region, including fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas.
People were asked whether they thought fluoride should be added to tap water on the basis of broad scientific agreement that doing this reduces tooth decay. The responses were:
There was a clear majority in favour among men and women and across all age groups. The highest level of support (72%) was among 16 to 24 year olds, although this was not statistically significant.
The people interviewed in the survey who said fluoride should be added to tap water (67% of the total sample) were asked why they held this opinion. The five most frequently cited reasons were:
It prevents/combats/reduces tooth decay (37%).
It is good for dental health/helps your teeth (18%).
It is good for children's teeth (8%).
It has benefits (8%).
The scientific evidence demonstrates its effectiveness (7%).