Community fluoridation status and caries experience in children

James A. Gillcrist, David E. Brumley, Jennifer U. Blackford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study compares dental caries experience in fluoridated and nonfluoridated communities. Methods: A dental health survey designed to collect data on caries experience and treatment needs for community-specific public health planning purposes was conducted in public elementary schools during the 1996-97 school year. Oral examinations of 17,256 children were completed, representing 93 percent of children residing in 62 East Tennessee communities. Results: The analysis showed that water fluoridation was significantly related to caries experience in the primary (dfs) and permanent (DMFS) dentitions and to the proportion of caries-free children in the primary and permanent dentitions. When the data were adjusted for socioeconomic status, race, and age, caries levels were 21 percent lower in the primary dentition and 25 percent lower in the permanent dentition in fluoridated communities than in nonfluoridated communities. In addition, the proportion of children who were caries free was larger in fluoridated as compared with nonfluoridated communities by 19 percent in the primary dentition and 6 percent in the permanent dentition. Conclusion: Although the design of the study prevented the collection of individual fluoride and residency histories, findings suggest there was substantially lower caries experience in fluoridated communities than in nonfluoridated communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-171
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Public Health Dentistry
Volume61
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Caries experience
  • Oral health survey
  • Water fluoridation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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