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Fluoride, oral health education make potent partners in fighting cavities

Kids who learn how to prevent cavities with good brushing techniques, oral hygiene and diet information might be able to protect their oral health if they put their education into practice.

But the added protection of fluoride varnish increases their chances of reducing their risk for cavities, according to researchers in Sweden.

Scientists studied more than 1,100 12-year-olds at high risk for dental decay for five years. They were randomly assigned to one of four groups. The first group was provided with information on tooth brushing techniques; the second received individualized education on oral hygiene and diet plus a fluoride varnish application; the third group received semiannual fluoride varnish applications; the fourth group made quarterly dental visits and received individualized information on oral hygiene and diet and fluoride varnish applications.

More than 900 children remained in the study at age 17. Children at the least risk for cavities were the groups who received fluoride varnish applications in addition to education. Children from working class homes and those who reported eating sweets often and not brushing their teeth twice a day show the highest risk for caries. Preventive education alone showed limited success in those with at high risk for cavities.

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

02/28/2005  |  |  Legal/Privacy  | Site Map  |  Contact Us
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