Fluoride Action Network


Water fluoridation in Kuopio, Finland, was stopped at the end of 1992. In our previous study, no increase in caries was found in Kuopio 3 years after the discontinuation of water fluoridation. The aim of the present study was to further observe the occurrence and distribution of caries in Kuopio and Jyväskylä, which was used as the reference town for Kuopio. In 1992, 1995 and 1998 independent random samples of all children aged 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15 years were drawn in Kuopio and Jyväskylä. The total numbers of subjects examined were 688, 1,484 and 1,530 in 1992, 1995 and 1998, respectively. Calibrated dentists registered caries clinically and radiographically. No indication of increasing caries could be found in the previously fluoridated town during 1992-1998. In both towns the mean dmfs and DMFS values either decreased or remained about the same during the observation period. When all study years and both towns were pooled, 25% of the 12- and 15-year-olds with the highest DMFS counts accounted for 79 and 67%, respectively, of all affected surfaces. The mean numbers of fluoride varnish and sealant applications had markedly decreased in 1993-1998 compared to 1990-1992. The fact that no increase in caries was found in Kuopio despite discontinuation of water fluoridation and decrease in preventive procedures suggests that not all of these measures were necessary for each child.