Water companies in south-east Hampshire could have been forced to put fluoride into their water supply to combat tooth decay.
The news was welcomed by dental experts in the Portsmouth area who said fluoridated water would have improved the poor state of children’s teeth in the city.
The government was about to publish a white paper which could have meant firms were no longer able to refuse to fluoridate water.
Portsmouth health chiefs called for the change in legislation.
Portsmouth was a black spot in dental health with its youngsters four times m likely to loose teeth compared to children in areas where water contained fluoride.
Anti-fluoridation campaigners said they would lobby the government to prevent companies bowing to health authority demands.