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J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2003 Spring;27(3):213-7.

History of water fluoridation.

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Department of Pedodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Marmara University, Istanbul, 80200 Turkey.


Fluoride, the milestone element of pediatric dentistry, as well as modern dentistry, has been utilized for the last six decades in practice. Researchers all over the world have used fluoride in several forms in the prevention of tooth decay. Today, we are aware that most of this work has involved clinical research with children. It is particularly pertinent that the subject be adequately presented in the field of pediatric dentistry. In 1940's and 1950's were the years of ten-year studies, where caries reductions were first described. The industry of systemic fluoridation, public campaigns and advertisements became popular mostly in western world in 1960's and 1970's. The fluoridated dentifrices and changes of dentifrice formulations were established in 1980's. Many stated that children should receive one form of systemic fluoride and appropriate forms of topical fluoride in 1990's. Analyses showed that maximum protection against caries is obtained when teeth erupt into an environment with low concentrations of ionic fluoride. The similarity in caries reductions obtained in water fluoridation studies and long-term studies with topically administered fluoride regimens, including fluoride-containing dentifrices, indicates that the pre-eruptive effect of fluoride is of borderline significance relative to the more significant post-eruptive effect. It has taken a long time to show that water fluoridation and topical fluoride programs were thus important measures for the control of caries at the community level. Today, we are aware of the fact that the trio of diet, dentifrice and supplementation should exceed the optimal levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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