The chief causes of caries are fancy sugars and ” sweet ” shops. No tooth can resist lodgment of fermenting carbohydrates. For many years the author has stressed the importance of physiological hygiene, i.e., mastication of solid food. Meat, twice-baked bread, and apples are necessary; the toothbrush is not sufficient. The author coined the phrase (published in many journals) : ” We should brush the teeth as we would brush out a comb.”
Observations of the teeth of pre-school children, over a period of twenty-seven years at the first Dental Maternity and Child Welfare Clinic (which was established in London by the author), have proved that prevention of caries is attainable. The mothers—among the poorest and most neglected—and the children are from some of the worst slums in London. At three years the teeth are mostly sound. The exception is the child put to bed with a sugar bag. Cavities are filled and instruction given to mothers as to diet. School dentists who see these children later find that the deciduous molars have been saved.
References: numerous since 1911, chiefly in Brit. Den. J., Brit. J. Den. Sci., Oral Topics, Public Health.