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J Dent Res. 2012 Feb;91(2):119-21. doi: 10.1177/0022034511429347.

Perspectives in the effective use of fluoride in Asia.


Dental caries is the most prevalent chronic disease affecting human populations worldwide. The diverse disease patterns across and within countries are related to socio-behavioral determinants, demographic factors, environmental conditions, and the availability and accessibility of oral health services, in particular, exposure to disease prevention programs (Petersen, 2003, 2008a). Benefits of fluoride for caries prevention have been substantiated in many countries (Petersen and Lennon, 2004; Jones et al., 2005). In the second half of the 20th century, this focus shifted to the development and evaluation of fluoride toothpastes and rinses and, to a lesser extent, to alternatives to water fluoridation, such as salt and milk fluoridation. Most recently, efforts have been made to summarize this extensive database through systematic reviews of fluoride administration (McDonagh et al., 2000; Marinho et al., 2003; Australian Government, 2007). The Asian workshop held in Phan-Nga, Thailand, during March 22-24, 2011, aimed to discuss current information on fluoride and dental caries, as well as to try identifying barriers and opportunities that countries of Asia may have for implementing such programs. In addition, the intention was to give recommendations for including fluoride schemes within national public health programs.

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