A fluoridation survey by the Health Ministry’s community dental medicine department has shown that supplying fluoridated water in the drinking water significantly reduced dental cavities in children in 2011 and 2012.

The survey, led by Prof. Harold Sgan-Cohen, sampled the teeth of more than 2,000 12-year-olds in the modern Orthodox and Arab sectors in five cities – including those with different socioeconomic backgrounds – around the country. The results in cities and towns where there is no fluoride was compared with those where water is fluoridated.

The researchers also looked for side effects.

The survey found that children who lived in areas with fluoridated water had better teeth than those who didn’t have fluoridated drinking water. Cavities were twice as common among children without fluoride in the water.

As for side effects, only a minimal amount of mild fluorosis (spots on the teeth) was visible on teeth (as a result of getting too much fluorosis resulting from fluoride drops of toothpaste), and this rate was similar to findings in the rest of the world. This did not affect ministry policy on fluoridation, the report said.

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