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J Public Health Dent. 1993 Winter;53(1):17-44.

A half-century of community water fluoridation in the United States: review and commentary.

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Department of Children's Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine, State University of New York, Stony Brook 11794.


The nearly 50-year history of community water fluoridation is reviewed with the major emphasis on the benefits and safety of fluoridation. Other aspects of water fluoridation also described include the apparent reduction in measurable fluoridation benefits because of the abundance of other fluoride sources, the diffusion of fluoridation effects into fluoride-deficient communities, preeruptive and posteruptive effects, technical and cost aspects, sociopolitical and legal issues that affect the successful fluoridation of communities, and alternatives to community water fluoridation. The majority of studies have evaluated the effectiveness of water fluoridation on the permanent teeth of children, while there are fewer studies on deciduous teeth and in adults; the relationship between fluoride ingestion and bone health needs further clarification; the sociopolitical issues of fluoridation need to be better understood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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