The caries experience among 6- and 12-year-old children in the The Netherlands from the mid seventies showed a continued decreasing trend. A halt in the decline of caries experience of the primary dentition of 6-year-olds occurred after 1983, whereas among 12-year-old children the decrease in mean DMFS values continued in the period 1980–1989. The 1996 survey in The Hague showed that the decline in caries in 12-year-old native children of low socioeconomic status (SES) has come to an end (average DMFT of 1.1). However, in medium- and high-SES groups, the percentages of caries-free children have continued to rise. Of the medium-SES 6- and 12-year-old children, 79 and 89% were caries-free, respectively; in the high-SES children the respective figures were 84 and 86%. A DMFT of 0.3 in 12-year-olds of medium and high SES was found, the general value was 0.7 and 74% with zero caries experience.

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