OBJECTIVES: Existing fluoride concentration and consumption data were used to estimate fluoride intakes from the diet and toothpaste use, for New Zealand subpopulations, to identify any population groups at risk of high-fluoride intake.
METHODS: For each sub-population, two separate dietary intake estimates were made–one based on a non-fluoridated water supply (fluoride concentration of 0.1 mg/L), and the other based on a water supply fluoridated to a concentration of 1.0 mg/L. Fluoride concentration data were taken from historical surveys, while food consumption data were taken from national 24-hour dietary recall surveys or from simulated diets.
RESULTS: Mean and 95th percentile estimations of dietary fluoride intake were well below the upper level of intake (UL), whether intakes were calculated on the basis of a non-fluoridated or fluoridated water supply. The use of fluoride-containing toothpastes provides additional fluoride intake. For many of the population groups considered, mean fluoride intakes were below the adequate intake (AI) level for caries protection, even after inclusion of the fluoride contribution from toothpaste. Intake of fluoride was driven by consumption of dietary staples (bread, potatoes),beverages (particularly tea, soft drinks, and beer), and the fluoride status of drinking water.
CONCLUSION: Estimates of fluoride intake from the diet and toothpaste did not identify any groups at risk of exceeding the UL, with the exception of infants (6-12 months) living in areas with fluoridated water supplies and using high-fluoride toothpaste. In contrast, much of the adult population may be receiving insufficient fluoride for optimum caries protection from these sources, as represented by the AI.