Prof. drg. Niken Widyanti Sriyono, M.D.Sc., said that primary and preventive fluoridation efforts can reduce the prevalence of dental and oral diseases, particularly dental caries. Fluoridation is a method of adding fluoride on to drinking water, salt or milk that are sold to the people. â€œThis is one of the preventive methods to improve dental resistance,â€ she said when inaugurated as Professor of the Faculty of Dental Medicine, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Tuesday (8/12).
Niken said that fluoride is key material in reducing the prevalence of dental caries cases. There are three ways to do it. First is to make improvementsÂ (remineralisation) of early enamel decay that is caused by acids produced by glucose that is broken by plaque bacteria. Second is to improve enamel chemical structures that makes enamel more resistant to acids. Third is to reduce the capacity of plaque bacteria in producing acids.
For example, fluoridated drinking water supply has proved to reduce the level of dental caries in the community up to 50-65% , fluoridation at schools can reduce by 40%, fluoride supplement diet by 50-80% whilst fluoridated salt by 60%.Â â€œFluoride topical application by profesionals can reduce the level by 30-40%,â€ explained Niken, the lady born in Jombang, 18 August 1942.
In her speech entitled â€œPrevention for Dental and Oral Diseases to Improve Quality of Lifeâ€, Niken explained that the significant of prevalence reduction can help prevent the impacts of dental and oral diseases. This will surely increase the quality of life of the community.Â Despite reducing the prevalence significantly, however, the issue of fluoridated drinking water is still debatable. Opponents to the fluoridation in the USA have asked that this should be immediately halted because there are more side-effects than the benefits. The Community Guide (2006), however, still recommends fluoridation,â€ said the wife of Drs. Sriyono.