The Health Department will expand fluoride-mixed milk to cover as many as 1.6 million school children in 12 provinces after it was discovered that many school children are suffering from decayed tooth problem.
The 12 provinces to receive fluoride-mixed milk from the Health Department are Bangkok, Chumporn, Khon Kaen, Surat Thani, Sa Kaew, Chon Buri, Krabi, Phatthalung, Trang, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.
Department head Dr Natthaporn Wongsutthipakorn said the department had received support from the Royally-sponsored project of Chitrlada Palace in the provision of training in the production of fluoride-mixed milk to staff of 26 milk factories so that pre-school and primary school children will have access to fluoride-mixed milk under the food supplement programme.
According to a 2012 report on mouth health, 51.7 percent of children under three have an average of 2.7 decayed teeth; 78.5 percent of children aged 5 have an average of 4.4 decayed teeth. Decayed teeth will stunt growth of chileren, affect their weight and their learning ability.
Dr Natthaporn said drinking fluoride-mixed milk five consecutive years would help reduce decayed tooth problem by 34.4 percent compared to children who do not drink the same kind of milk.
The fluoride-mixed milk programme was launched in 2000 in Bangkok by the Health Department in cooperation with the Royally-sponsored project of Chitrlada Palace, the dentistry faculty of Thammasat University and the Office of Food and Drugs Administration with funding from Britain's Borrow Foundation.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)