BSPD welcomes WHO inclusion of fluoride preparations on children’s medicine list

09 November 2021
1 min read

The British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) welcomes the announcement made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to include fluoride-containing preparations in their essential medicine list for children. This is a new development which reflects the recognition of oral health as an important aspect of children’s overall health and wellbeing.

The report of the 23rd WHO expert committee into the ‘Selection and Use of Essential Medicines’ notes the burden of oral diseases, particularly untreated dental caries, which represent a significant public health problem globally. The new WHO recommendation is that “the listing should be amended to ‘fluoride’, noting that topical fluoride-containing preparations utilize fluoride in a variety of forms. Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for inclusion as a specifically defined formulation of fluoride (paste, cream or gel containing between 1000 and 1500 ppm fluoride – any type), because of its proven effectiveness in preventing dental caries and for better control of quality of fluoride content.”

Professor Sondos Albadri, BSPD president, said, “We are pleased to note the inclusion of fluoride-containing dental preparations in the WHO essential medicines list. As paediatric dentists, we have all seen the benefits of these management options. This recognition and inclusion now by WHO will hopefully encourage their implementation to improve the oral health of disadvantaged and vulnerable children worldwide."

The list also includes Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF). In 2020, BSPD issued guidance and support materials on the use of SDF as a management option to help arrest dental caries in children.

BSPD has been campaigning for improving standards in children’s oral health in the UK for almost 70 years. To date, the Society has over 800 members made up of dental professionals with an interest in paediatric dentistry including dentists, dental care professionals (DCPs), dental and DCP students and international members.