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Sugar Restriction for Caries Prevention: Amount and Frequency. Which Is More Important?

van Loveren, Cor.
Caries Res; 53(2): 168-175, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | 2019 | ID: mdl-30089285
Resumo: The World Health Organization guideline to use less sugar may be an opportunity and support for dentistry in its goal to get the message of using less sugar across to the public. Two ways (with all the combinations of these) to achieve a reduction of sugar consumption are the reduction of the amount of sugar in products or the reduction of the frequency of consumption of sugar-containing products. Which sugar-reducing strategy is best for caries prevention? To answer this question, this manuscript discusses the shape of the dose-response association between sugar intake and caries, the influence of fluoridated toothpaste on the association of sugar intake and caries and the relative contribution of frequency and amount of sugar intake to caries levels. The results suggest that when fluoride is appropriately used, the relation between sugar consumption and caries is very low or absent. The high correlation between amount and frequency hampers the decision related to which of both is of more importance, but frequency (and stickiness) fits better in our understanding of the caries process. Reducing the amount without reducing the frequency does not seem to be an effective caries preventive approach in contrast to the reciprocity. Goals set in terms of frequency may also be more tangible for patients to follow than goals set in amount. Yet, in sessions of dietary counselling to prevent dental caries, the counsellor should not forget the importance of quality tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste.