Twitter users starting to embrace water fluoridation

By Melissa Busch, associate editor

June 10, 2021 -- Twitter users have started to get on board with community water fluoridation, with the number of supporters rising from none to 19% in five years, according to an article published on June 7 in BDJ in Practice.

Researchers attribute the growth of positive attitudes toward fluoridation to the efforts of dental and public health groups, according to the article. However, opposition to fluoridation remains constant on Facebook.

"There is now more support on Twitter thanks to the British Fluoridation Society, Public Health England, the Oral Health Foundation and many more organizations using their accounts to post informative statements and links," stated Dr. Rebecca Linney, a member of the British Fluoridation Society (BFS), in the article.

In 2015, Linney conducted a study to determine people's perceptions of fluoridation based on their comments on social media. The research showed no pro-fluoridation accounts on Twitter. However, when Linney conducted the same review in 2021, she determined that the number of pro-fluoridation accounts had climbed to 19% of those featuring water fluoridation.

On the other hand, Facebook remains the platform with the most negative comments about adding fluoride to community water sources, Linney found. Also, the number of pages against water fluoridation has increased on Facebook.

"This paper is useful in understanding how important it is to continue to communicate clear and scientific statements about water fluoridation," added Dr. Barry Cockcroft, chair of the BFS, in the article.

Copyright © 2021

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