OBJECTIVES: This analysis was conducted to determine the changes in the effect of exposure to fluoridation and other sources of fluoride on dental fluorosis in children attending Newburgh and Kingston school districts in New York State.
METHODS: Data for this analysis were obtained from two surveys conducted in the 1986 and 1995 school years. Analyses were limited to 3500, 7-14-year-old lifelong residents of a fluoridated or a nonfluoridated community. Dean’s classification and DMFS index were used for recording dental fluorosis and caries, respectively. A questionnaire was used to collect fluoride exposure data. Regression procedures were used to estimate the effect of fluoridation, fluoride supplements, and brushing before the age of 2 years on dental fluorosis.
RESULTS: Children examined in 1996 were at higher risk for both questionable and very mild to severe dental fluorosis if they received fluoride from water or daily tablet use, or started brushing before the age of 2 years. The increase in risk from 1986 to 1995 was greater for African-American children.
CONCLUSION: This analysis showed that the risk of developing dental fluorosis did not decline over time in these communities. Continuous exposure to water fluoridation had an observable effect on dental fluorosis. However, implementation of fluoridation in Newburgh Town did not result in an increase in dental fluorosis prevalence.