Daily Archives: March 25, 2015

Education on Tooth Decay Prevention is Needed, Minus the Sacred Cow

The belief that tap water having fluoride is necessary and that somehow tap water with fluoride is better than bottled water without it is very entrenched in certain circles. Studies like this do not support any such conclusion but are conducted to attempt to convince others of that which is unjustifiable (tap water fluoridation). Tap water fluoridation is simply a sacred cow.

Horowitz AM, Kleinman DV, Child W, Maybury C. Perspectives of Maryland Adults Regarding Caries Prevention. American journal of public health. 2015 Mar 19:e1-e7.

OBJECTIVES: We obtained in-depth information from low-income parents and caregivers of young children about their knowledge and understanding of and practices related to the prevention and control of dental caries (tooth decay).

METHODS: In 2010, we conducted 4 focus groups in Maryland communities with low-income, English-speaking parents and caregivers who had at least 1 child aged 6 years or younger or who were pregnant. We developed a focus group guide based on findings of a previous statewide random telephone survey of adults with young children.

RESULTS: Most participants had limited understanding of and extensive misinformation about how to prevent dental caries. They were confused about the use of juice and its impact on their child’s teeth and had limited understanding of the use of fluorides to prevent caries. Most did not drink tap water and did not give it to their children; rather, they used bottled water.

CONCLUSIONS: These results and those of the statewide telephone survey strongly suggest the need for educational interventions designed for those with limited levels of education.