Salt Fluoridation

India is one of many countries which uses salt fluoridation as a means to address the widespread prevalence of dental caries, primarily because it is inexpensive, effective, safe, and benefits the entire population. However, India has large areas where the groundwater is naturally fluoridated and measures between 1mg/l to 48mg/l.

Is salt fluoridation more of a hindrance rather than a solution to dental caries in India?

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. For further information on salt fluoridation please click here.

Description:

The addition of fluoride to table salt or household salt by salt manufacturers is called salt fluoridation. This process is carried out by the salt manufacturing companies.

Effectiveness:

In Jamaica a decline of 69% in caries rates in 15-year-olds and 87% reduction in dental caries for 6-year-olds have been reported. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) introduced salt fluoridation to several South American countries and concluded that caries declined by 50 percent or more in most of those countries.

Cost:

Cost-benefit analysis of a salt fluoridation program by PAHO concluded that for every one US dollar spent in the program, the benefit through prevention of caries is $40. In Jamaica, fluoride in salt is reported to reduce dental caries by as high as 84% at a cost of 6 cents per person per year.

Recommendations:

The combination of both salt and water fluoridation is not recommended. About 200-250 mg fluoride per kg of salt is reported to be equivalent to 0.5-1.2 ppm of fluoride in water.

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