Does the fluoridation of public water supplies target the group which would benefit the most from its addition, namely infants and young children under the age of 12, and does it have any known benefit for adults? Yes.
A survey of U.S. children showed a 39 percent lower caries prevalence in 5-year-old children with a history of continuous residence in optimally fluoridated communities as compared to fluoride deficient communities (Brunelle and Carlos, 1989). There has consistently been a 40-60 percent decline in decay of British children aged 4 to 6 years living in fluoridated communities compared with those living in nonfluoridated communities. Children of mixed dentition, between 8-12 years, showed differences in dental caries rates between 9 percent and 57 percent for those living in fluoridated and nonfluoridated communities. Furthermore, there is a consistently lower caries prevalence in adults and seniors who have lived continuously in optimally fluoridated areas than in those living in areas with low fluoride levels, ranging between 17-35 percent less caries (Newbrun, 1989).
Brunelle, J.A. and Carlos, J.P. 1989. Recent trends in dental caries in US children and the effect of water fluoridation. J. Dent. Res. 68 (Spec Iss).
Newbrun, E. 1989. Effectiveness of water fluoridation. J. Pub. Hlth. Dent. 49 (Spec Iss).
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