BFS welcomes Ministerial intention to proceed with Community Water Fluoridation

The Chair of the British Fluoridation Society (BFS), Dr Barry Cockcroft CBE, has welcomed a statement made by the Minister of State for the Department of Health and Social Care Will Quince, of his intention to proceed with increasing the coverage of community water fluoridation schemes in North East England.

The announcement was made during the Minister’s speech to a committee debate on ‘Draft Water Fluoridation Consultation Regulations 2022’ on Monday 24 October.

The Minister said: “One element in deciding whether we proceed with a water fluoridation proposal is of course a cost-benefit analysis of said proposal, and any new proposal would have to demonstrate that the benefit to health represents good value for the investment of public money being proposed.

“Where the conditions are met, we want more of the country to benefit from water fluoridation. I am pleased to announce that, subject to the outcome of this debate and any future consultations, funding has been secured to begin expansion across the North East into Northumberland, County Durham, Sunderland, South Tyneside and Teesside, including Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington and Middlesbrough. I know that the local authorities in those areas are strong supporters of water fluoridation.”

Speaking following the announcement, BFS Chair Dr Barry Cockcroft said: “We welcome Minster Quince’s positive statement, which is an indication that the Government is serious in its intention to widen the coverage of water fluoridation, starting with a public consultation on its proposals for expansion across the North East of England next year.

“This is a hugely positive development for organisations like the BFS, dentists and oral health practitioners up and down the country, who have been campaigning for the introduction of more schemes to prevent tooth decay and unnecessary suffering in our communities due to poor oral health. The BFS is keen to give its support when public consultation events on the proposals are held locally.

“As the Minister stated, the expansion will enable an additional 1.6 million people to benefit from water fluoridation. It will help to reduce the levels of tooth decay in the area and, over time, reduce the numbers of children who need to be admitted to hospital for tooth extractions because of decay. As children in more deprived areas are at greater risk of tooth decay, expansion will help to level up dental health for the children and families who need it most.”

BFS launch new academic fellowship opportunities

The British Fluoridation Society (BFS) in partnership with the Borrow Foundation, has launched a new career development fellowship designed to attract new academic expertise to the field of water fluoridation and its role in public health.

Overall, £30,000 has been allocated to create two fellowships which will be delivered within the next three years.

The programme is called The British Fluoridation Society Career Development Fellowship.

“This is an important investment in the future of water fluoridation,” explains Barry Cockcroft, BFS chair and former chief dental officer.

“Oral health is fundamental to overall health, wellbeing and quality of life. Community water fluoridation is a crucial element in preventing tooth decay and securing good dental health for all.

“Despite a long history and exemplary record in efficacy, only 10% of the UK population drinks fluoridated water, and those communities are benefitting from schemes that were introduced decades ago.

“In addition to highlighting the need for more schemes, our partnership with the Borrow Foundation has enabled us to create The British Fluoridation Society Career Development Fellowship, which will strengthen the UK academic knowledge base for water fluoridation by encouraging future leaders in their field to take an active interest in fluoridation as a safe and effective intervention.

“I’d like to thank the Borrow Foundation for its support in helping us to take good oral health forward.”

Today, over four hundred million people benefit from fluoridated water worldwide.

The BFS has been working to improve dental health in England through the introduction of new community water fluoridation schemes since 1969. The Borrow Foundation is a UK charity seeking to improve oral health, particularly for children.

Dr Ray Lowry, BFS secretary, adds: “Our new career fellowships are designed to provide a greater academic underpinning for fluoridation as an effective and safe dental health intervention.

“Recently, we have seen an increase in political enthusiasm for water fluoridation and as a Society, we have identified a need to strengthen the academic foundation for fluoridation, to keep research relevant and encourage young academics to pursue the issue as a viable career interest.

“The fellowships will help us to build a modern UK database of evidence and to engage with younger academics on this career-enhancing subject. The BFS is the obvious organisation to initiate this activity as part of its role to support the academic knowledge base for fluoridation.”

The BFS is now seeking applications from candidates. Closing date for the first fellowship is Wednesday 31 August 2022.

Applications are invited and the process can be accessed via The British Fluoridation Society website at:

The Society anticipates successful fellowship candidates will be second-year academics on a recognised training pathway in the UK.

The fellowship could potentially fund an attachment within an academic department (dental public health or the equivalent) in the USA, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Singapore.

During the fellowship, candidates will be tasked to draw on their mentor’s experience and knowledge and to work on a short thesis or research project that will develop their thinking on an aspect of water fluoridation. They will also have the opportunity and are encouraged to build a network of colleagues also engaged in the field of preventable oral disease and fluoridation.

For more information, please contact Sharon Walker at the BFS. Tel: 07498982937 or email:

The British Fluoridation Society appoints new Committee Member

The British Fluoridation Society (BFS) is pleased to announce Philip Martin BDS MDPH is joining its Executive Committee.

Dr Martin is a dental surgeon with more 40 years’ experience. He owns and operates several dental practices in Leicester after acquiring his first practice in 1990.

He qualified as a general dental practitioner at the University of Liverpool and has mentored many young graduates through their first year in dentistry as a foundation dentist (FD) trainer. In addition to working in general dental practice, Dr Martin has been a Clinical Advisor to the Health Service Ombudsman since 2012.

An active member of British Dental Association (BDA), Mr Martin has served as both president and chair of the East Midland branch. He is a long standing member of Leicestershire Local Dental Committee (LDC), having previously served as chair, and represented both Leicestershire and Northampton on the General Dental Practice Committee of the BDA for two terms.

Dr Martin has also undertaken a part-time role as a clinical assistant in orthodontics to complete a Masters in Dental Public Health.

Welcoming Dr Martin, Dr Barry Cockcroft CBE and BFS chair, said: “This is an exciting time to be joining the BFS Executive Committee. I am delighted to welcome Philip to the team. He brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the organisation.

“The White Paper announced earlier this year, and the subsequent Health Bill currently in Parliament, has the potential to lead the way for new legislation that will aid the introduction of much-needed water fluoridation schemes that will help us to tackle avoidable dental health inequalities in the UK.”

Describing his appointment to the BFS, Dr Martin said: “I very much look forward to working with all my Committee colleagues to advance the work of the BFS. In 2013, non-fluoridated Leicester was the worst place in England for dental decay in 5-year-olds, a situation which has improved only slightly.

“Consequently, I am very aware of the damage dental caries cause to our children. Community water fluoridation is the most effective way to reduce this burden of suffering and improving the oral health of our population.”

For more information on the BFS, go to: