A total of 753 conscripts (age 20) examined in 1985 showed on average 8.6 DMF teeth upon clinical examination. When subjected to a standardized examination supplemented by bite-wing radiographs of the buccal segment, 0.5 MT, 4.2 DT and 5.4 FT equivalent to a DMFT of 10.1 were found. Three per cent of the subjects were caries-free (DFT = 0). Caries experience in anterior teeth DFS greater than 0) was diagnosed in 21% of the recruits but 85% of them had suffered dentinal caries or showed fillings on the bite-wing radiographs (DFS greater than 0). Among the total of 18.8 DF sites, 5 were D sites, and 83% of the D sites were dentinal radiolucencies in molars and premolars. An annual increase of 1.55 DFS was estimated for the age interval 15-20 years. Recruits from communities with preventive programs at school had 17.0 DFS (9.1 DMFT) while those from communities lacking organized prevention at school had 21.2 (11.3 DMFT). The recruits from the Canton of Vaud, who had benefited from a program of salt fluoridation, comprising salt for domestic use and for bakeries and restaurants, from 1970 to 1985, showed only 11.6 DFS (7.1 DMFT). There was less gingival bleeding and calculus in recruits from the Canton of Zurich where supervised toothbrushing has been carried out 4 to 6 times a year since 1963/64 at least through school-grades 1-6 than in the remaining recruits.