§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the impact on young children's dental health of introducing water fluoridation in Wales. 
Mr. Jon Owen Jones
The Welsh Office is well aware of oral health benefits conferred by topping up the existing fluoride levels in public water supplies to 1 part per million. The dental decay rate of children aged five years in Anglesey was reduced by 50 per cent. after fluoridation was introduced there in the mid fifties. However, since withdrawal of the last of the Anglesey fluoridation schemes in 1991, there has been a 168 per cent. increase in tooth decay.
Dental decay is increasingly recognised as a disease of childhood and deprivation, and water fluoridation is an ideal and simple way in which to improve oral health.
The recent consultation on the Green Paper 'Better Health, Better Wales' drew considerable support for fluoridation and the Welsh Office is considering the responses in conjunction with other UK Health Departments.