Water quality and socioeconomics influence caries in populations. This study broadens previous studies on how caries is associated with fluoride and calcium in drinking water and with family income by quantifying the combined effect of the three independent variables. The effects of calcium and fluoride can be described as independent effects of the two ions or, alternatively, in the form of saturation with respect to fluorite (CaF2). A general linear model describes this relationship with high significance and the model confirms the important protective effect of calcium and fluoride, independently against caries. From the model, the relative importance of fluoride and calcium to protect against caries is quantified. The relationship between caries and family income is also highly significant. It is illustrated how the linear model can be applied in planning and analyzing drinking water softening in relation to caries.
- Danish municipalities
- Dental caries
- Water quality
- Water softening and desalination
- Water supply