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January 8, 1944

Current Comment

JAMA. 1944;124(2):98-99. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850020028014

FLUORIDE AND DENTAL CARIES  The protective action of fluoride against dental caries was first indicated by epidemiologic studies1 which disclosed an inverse relationship between the prevalence rates of dental caries and the fluoride concentration of the municipal water supplies. Relatively low incidence of caries was found associated with the use of domestic waters whose fluoride concentration had a range of one or more parts per million.2 Next, laboratory studies3 revealed that salts of fluoride could inhibit the experimental production of caries in the molar teeth of rats. On the basis of this evidence, clinical investigations were undertaken in an attempt to control dental caries by the prophylactic and therapeutic use of fluoride salts. A method was devised by Cheyne4 for the topical application of fluoride to the teeth without the attendant danger of its systemic ingestion or absorption. Briefly, the method consists in thorough cleaning of

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