Building the British Fluoridation Society
The British Fluoridation Society has updated its website to be more accessible and informative. Visitors to the website are encouraged to take out free associate membership, a category designed to help build and broaden understanding of this valuable public health measure.
The BFS, which was established more than 50 years ago, has enjoyed the support of doctors, dentists and social justice campaigners. Now, anyone who wants to be kept informed of developments in the field of community water fluoridation (CWF), whether relating to research, international collaborations, possible schemes or the work of the BFS itself, can show their support by joining the society.
Ray Lowry, secretary of the BFS, said, “We are keen to convert followers into members, so that we are a clearly defined membership organisation, aligned with other groups whether in healthcare, politics or social justice organisations. Having a clearly identifiable support group will help progress the cause of community water fluoridation.”
He added, “It’s never been so important to communicate evidence-based arguments in favour of water fluoridation to the wider public, especially in areas where the local authority wants to move ahead with a water fluoridation scheme.
“A public consultation is an essential precursor to the implementation of a scheme. We are keen that when a consultation is announced, which may happen in the north east next year, there is an identifiable and reliable way for members of the public and the media to access the information they need.”
The BFS is currently a limited company with two categories of membership. Associate members can join for free and have the following benefits:
- Involvement in the UK’s leading water fluoridation advocacy organisation
- Access to the members area of the website
- Regular copies of the BFS Bulletin, keeping them in touch with fluoridation issue and events
Full members, who pay a small fee, enjoy all the above as well as a greater degree of involvement in BFS activities, including attendance at the AGM and the right to vote. BFS welcomes both individual and corporate members who can join via the website.
Currently, around six million people in the UK benefit from a fluoridated water supply. Fluoridation reduces admissions of children to hospital for dental extractions by 68 per cent in more deprived areas. The more deprived the children are, the greater the benefit. The oral health of the entire community is better in fluoridated areas than in non-fluoridated areas.