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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


NARVAI, Paulo Capel. Dental caries and fluorine: a twentieth century relation. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2000, vol.5, n.2, pp.381-392. ISSN 1678-4561.

In the early of Twentieth Century, dental caries were a big public health problem around world. Infection, pain, suffering and mutilation reached all people. The discovering of preventive effect of fluorine became them, through the Century, the main agent in fighting to disease worldwide. In various countries, including Brazil, fluoridated products have been pointed as main causes for dental caries prevalence decline. Also in Brazil, at the 50s and 60s, the preventive effect of water fluoridation was ratified for some pioneer studies. For the period 1986-1996 epidemiological data shown a significant reduction of 53% in the DMF-T index value at 12-years-old schoolchildren. Water and dentifrices are largely used as vehicle for fluoride in public health actions. In Brazil 42% of population has access to fluoridated water. Most dentifrices contain fluoride. This paper approach historical aspects of fluoride uses in public health and presents any epidemiological data on dental caries prevalence in Brazil. Conclude asking if fluoridated products will have same importance for oral health promotion in next decades.

Keywords : Dental Caries; DMF-T Index; Water Fluoridation; Dentifrice; Health Surveillance.

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