Recent trends in dental caries in U.S. children and the effect of water fluoridation

J Dent Res. 1990 Feb;69 Spec No:723-7; discussion 820-3. doi: 10.1177/00220345900690S141.

Abstract

The decline in dental caries in U.S. schoolchildren, first observed nationwide in 1979-1980, was confirmed further by a second national epidemiological survey completed in 1987. Mean DMFS scores in persons aged 5-17 years had decreased about 36% during the interval, and, in 1987, approximately 50% of children were caries-free in the permanent dentition. Children who had always been exposed to community water fluoridation had mean DMFS scores about 18% lower than those who had never lived in fluoridated communities. When some of the "background" effect of topical fluoride was controlled, this difference increased to 25%. The results suggest that water fluoridation has played a dominant role in the decline in caries and must continue to be a major prevention methodology.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control
  • Fluoridation* / statistics & numerical data
  • Fluorides / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • United States / epidemiology

Substances

  • Fluorides