August 1963

Dental Caries and the Pediatrician

Author Affiliations

College Ave Professional Bldg 4529 College Ave San Diego 15, Calif

Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(2):123. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050125001

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Dental caries, the most common "chronic disease" of American children, is primarily caused by improper diet. Heredity plays a secondary role. The dietary fault has been shown to be refined carbohydrate. Although it is unlikely that the pediatrician's admonitions will correct the fault and change our national food habits still it is clearly his responsibility to make sure that his patient's parents know that refined carbohydrate is the cause of nearly all caries and to encourage a proper physiologic diet.

Although it has not been shown that the daily ingestion of minute amounts of fluoride ion is physiologic and necessary for normal dental health, still it is clearly true that even in the presence of a caries-producing diet small daily amounts of fluoride ion exert a strong prophylactic action between the fifth month of gestation and the age of nine or ten years. The fluorine is incorporated into the enamel

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