Fluoride has maintained an important role in the field of preventive dentistry since the 1940s.
The discovery of high levels of fluoride in the water in the 1930s led to the formation of the Dental Hygiene Unit at the National Institutes headed by H.
Trendly Dean, who noticed an inverse relationship between caries prevalence and fluoride concentration that leveled off above 1 ppm.
A large-scale prospective study that evaluated 30,000 children over a period of 15 years resulted in the conclusion that fluoridated water resulted in a significant reduction in caries for the fluoridated cities.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2006 that 69.2 % of US citizens served by public water supplies were receiving fluoridated water.
Recognition of the role of fluoridated water in caries reduction led to the development of other modes of fluoride delivery, including the addition of fluoride to toothpastes, mouth rinses, gels and tablets.
A Peer-Reviewed Publication
Written by N. Sue Seale, DDS, MSD and Diane M. Daubert, RDH, MS