Milk fluoridation programmes

Although the Foundation has greatly extended its work in wider areas of prevention, milk fluoridation remains a priority.

The nutritional value of milk is well documented; milk can make a significant contribution to the human diet through the provision of macro-nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The subject of milk and oral health has also been extensively researched. Milk is often made available to children through school and nutritional programmes, and in a number of countries it is existing distribution systems of this kind that have provided a cost-efficient ‘vehicle’ for the targeted delivery of fluoride. Importantly, the use of existing milk distribution systems has meant that fluoridated milk can often be supplied at the same cost as non-fluoridated milk, which has proved to be an important factor when the feasibility and sustainability of such interventions have been under consideration.

The Foundation is currently providing support for community-based milk fluoridation programmes in Chile, United Kingdom, and Thailand. These have been developed by central or local government departments / agencies and are operated through schools and kindergartens, in some cases forming part of wider ‘health promoting schools’ initiatives.