RATIONALE: In 1984, the DMFT12 in Jamaican children was 6.7 (very severe). In 1987, national salt fluoridation was implemented (250 mg F-/kg salt). In 1995, a national survey showed a substantial decrease of caries severity (DMFT12 of 1.8).
OBJECTIVES: To see whether the favorable exposure of fluoride was continued.
METHODS: Assessment of urinary fluoride parameters based on WHO guidelines. Children were sampled in two urban and two rural sites. Valid nocturnal and daytime urinary collections were obtained from 128 children (mean age 4.7 y). A questionnaire administered to parents provided information on oral hygiene practice, and use of fluoride via salt, dentifrices or supplements.
RESULTS: Excretion rate values extrapolated to 24 h were 271 in urban and 330 microgF/24 h in rural, F-concentrations were in the range of 1.13 and 1.30. Almost all children were reported to use toothpaste, most with 600 to 1000 ppm F; 65% of children use more than the recommended amount of toothpaste. Fluoridated salt was consumed by 98% of the children. There was no other apparent usage of fluorides.
CONCLUSIONS: Urinary excretion results point to a suboptimal exposure of fluoride, whereas concentrations would suggest an optimal or slightly higher intake. Dentifrices with 500 ppm F should be made available in order to minimize the risk of enamel fluorosis.