- When a minimal daily quantity of fluoride is added to salt or drinking water it can significantly improve the resistance to tooth decay. Mains water supplies in major cities in Viet Nam are fluoridated but salt supplies are not currently supplemented.
- Fluoridated / iodated salt looks and tastes the same as normal salt and is safe and easy to produce.
- Worldwide, more than 1 billion people are currently receiving fluoride supplements with salt or water in Europe, the Americas and Oceania.
- According to a National Oral Health Survey (2001), more than 85% of 6-8 year olds in Viet Nam are affected by tooth decay.
- In adults, the average number of decayed teeth is eight. This is due to
- Increased consumption of foods containing refined sugar;
- Poor dental hygiene practices;
- The low level of natural fluoride in water, particularly in rural areas.
- In addition, most dental professionals are located in urban areas. Most rural patients with tooth decay go untreated.
- WHO is supporting the Ministry of Health to initiate a salt fluoridation programme.
- According to Vietnamese regulations, a trial of fluoridated salt is required before it can be officially approved for use as daily supplement.
- From 2010, WHO has supported the National Institute of Odonto-Stomatology to set up a trail, including the commercial production of fluoridated salt according to international standards.