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The Department of Health's own study (download) has concluded:

"Before conducting our analysis, as an online public engagement activity, we invited patient, public and professional stakeholders to consider the minimum reduction in invasive dental treatments over 10 years they would consider clinically or practically meaningful. Contributors held a wide range of views, indicating this is a highly subjective judgement. However, based on their feedback, the majority would not have considered a relative reduction of 3% as being meaningful"

The retrospective study of fluoridation in England did not assess the known harms associated with ingestion of fluoride, such as dental fluorosis, and the general neurotoxic effects of long-term fluoride exposure, so it is incomplete in as much as the downside effects of fluoride were simply not considered.

So it's reasonable to conclude that the case for water fluoridation is not proven on at least three grounds:

  • It's unclear that the claimed improvement in dental health is significant
  • No effort was made to consider the downside risks such as the known neurotoxic effects of fluoride
  • Fluoridation of the public water supply drives a coach and horses through the principle of informed consent and the choice to reject a medical intervention