BFS launches essay competition to champion community water fluoridation


  Posted by: Dental Design      2nd March 2023

The British Fluoridation Society (BFS) has launched a new essay competition which is designed to encourage up and coming oral health care professionals to make the case for more community water fluoridation (CWF) schemes across the country.

The competition is aimed at dental care professionals (DCPs), dental undergraduates and postgraduates, with a cash prize for each category, which ranges from £500 to £1000.

The BFS essay question is:

“Water fluoridation is seen as a success in cities such as Birmingham and Newcastle. How would you ensure that such success is replicated throughout the rest of the United Kingdom?”

The closing date for entries is 31 August 2023. Each entry will be judged by an editorial panel led by Damien Walmsley, dental practitioner and executive member of the BFS.

Damien explains: “We know that water fluoridation plays a significant role in preventing tooth decay and securing good dental health for all.

“Despite its long history as a successful oral health intervention, only 10% of the UK population currently drinks fluoridated water, and these communities are benefitting from schemes that were introduced many decades ago.

“Through the BFS essay competition, we hope to receive fresh ideas connected to communicating and sharing the benefits of this unique public health intervention for people living in the UK.

“Please put your thinking caps on and share your ideas with us. This is a fantastic opportunity to do some public good and enhance your CV at the same time.”

Once the entries are in and the judging is complete, all three competition winners will be announced and presented with their prizes at the BFS AGM in 2024.

The three essay prize categories are:

  • The British Fluoridation Society Undergraduate essay prize: £500
  • The British Fluoridation Society Postgraduate essay prize: £1,000
  • The British Fluoridation Society DCP essay prize: £1,000

The BFS is keen to encourage new interest in water fluoridation by targeting a new generation of dental care students and professionals.

Barry Cockcroft, BFS chair and former chief dental officer for England, said: “Globally, more than four hundred million people have access to fluoridated water, and we are seeing an increase in political enthusiasm, including here in the UK, for more community water fluoridation schemes.

“That said, it has been some time since new schemes were introduced in the UK, which is why we feel it is appropriate to stimulate interest in the initiative by inviting colleagues to get involved, put their thinking caps on and pen an essay is an excellent way, that will raise the profile of fluoridation within and without the profession.”

Full details of the essay prizes and application rules can be found at:

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