Protection from and Prevention of Dental Caries

Variations among individuals, and with time, will arise as a result of differences in acid generation from sugars at different localities within the dentition. These variations may be influenced by changing dietary habits and by the extent of the colonization of the relevant tooth surface by acido-genic bacteria. They may also be affected by changes in saliva flow, for example as a result of the use of certain medications or radiotherapy.

These factors may provide a reasonable explanation for many of the differences in caries experience observed between individuals and populations and between different locations within an individual's dentition. They do not explain the dramatic reduction in caries prevalence seen throughout the developed world in the last 30 years. There is no doubt that this improvement has been caused by the introduction of fluoride toothpaste.

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