Fluoride Action Network



There have been few reports regarding variations of fluoride intake by fluid consumption patterns. The purpose of this study was to estimate fluoride intake among children in the United States based on their fluid consumption patterns.


Fluid intakes of children aged 1-10 years from plain water, beverages, and water from foods were assessed in a 24-hour recall diet survey as a part of the third National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES III, 1988-1994). The amount of fluoride ingested from fluids in NHANES III was estimated from several assumptions about the concentration of fluoride in drinking water and beverages. Logistic regression analysis was conducted using SAS and SUDAAN.


Children at the 75th percentile or higher of F intake from fluids (not including water used in cooking) ingested 0.05 mg F/kg/day or more, and children at the 90th percentile or higher ingested 0.07 mg F/kg/day or more. This finding held across all age groups. There was substantial variation in the estimated amount of fluoride ingestion depending on the children’s fluid consumption patterns as well as age, gender, and race/ethnicity. African-American children ingested significantly more fluoride than White children in bivariate analysis. This association remained significant after accounting for fluid consumption pattern and other confounding factors in the model.


Our results raise concerns that some children are ingesting significantly more fluoride than others depending on sociodemographic factors and fluid consumption patterns. Additional research is warranted to investigate the variation in the amounts of fluoride ingestion by these factors and its impact on fluorosis prevalence in different population groups.