Milk Fluoridation

As fluoride in milk targets children, the World Health Organization (WHO) supports milk fluoridation as an alternative to water fluoridation. This is currently practiced in some countries including the United Kingdom (UK), China, Peru and Thailand.

While the monitoring of fluoride levels in milk is challenging, considering the poor attitudes and low levels of awareness associated to oral health, should the Indian government have a scheme where children, particularly the vulnerable population, receive fluoridated milk as part of the ongoing 1 meal/day program in government schools?

Let’s discuss:

Professor Raman Bedi raman.bedi@kcl.ac.uk

The following brief note (below) has been agreed by a global expert group and is taken from the website Alliance for Cavity Free Future.

Milk Fluoridation

Description and use:

The addition of fluoride to milk and milk-based products is called milk fluoridation. Currently milk fluoridation programs exist in several countries including Bulgaria, Chile, China, Peru, the Russian Federation, Thailand, and the UK.

Effectiveness:

Decreasing the mean DMFS by 85% in the Budapest study and 43% in the Glasgow study. However more data is needed to provide the highest level of evidence for practice.

Safety:

In a review on safety milk fluoridation was reported to be safe and fluorosis, if any, was mild. No other adverse effects have been reported. The regulation of fluoride in milk and monitoring the levels of fluoride in milk are challenging.

Cost:

The cost effectiveness of fluoridated milk has been reported to be $5 savings per diseased tooth after four years.

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