Fluoride Action Network

Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: The Impact of Fluoride on Health

Source: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2012;112:1443-1453. | September 4th, 2012


It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to support optimal systemic and topical fluoride as an important public health measure to promote oral health and overall health throughout life. Fluoride is an important element in the mineralization of bone and teeth. The proper use of topical and systemic fluoride has resulted in major reductions in dental caries and its associated disability. Dental caries remains the most prevalent chronic disease in children and affects all age groups of the population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named fluoridation of water as one of the 10 most important public health measures of the 21st century. Currently, ????72% of the US population that is served by community water systems benefits from water fluoridation. However, only 27 states provide fluoridated water to more than three quarters of the state’s residents on public water systems. Fluoride also plays a role in bone health. However, at this time, use of high doses of fluoride for osteoporosis prevention is con- sidered experimental only. Dietetics practitioners should routinely monitor and pro- mote the use of fluorides for all age groups.

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From the Academy

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Position adopted by the House of Delegates Leadership Team on April 23, 1989 and reaffirmed on September 11, 1993; September 28, 1998; June 19, 2003; and July 16, 2008. This position is in effect until December 31, 2017. The Academy authorizes republication of the position, in its entirety, provided full and proper credit is given. Readers can copy and distribute this paper, providing such distribution is not used to indicate an endorsement of product or service. Commercial distribution is not permitted without the permission of the Academy. Requests to use portions of the position must be directed to the Academy headquarters at 800/877-1600, ext. 4835, or ppapers@eatright.org.

Authors: Carole A. Palmer, EdD, RD, LDN, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA; Joyce Ann Gilbert, PhD, RD, The Marilyn Magaram Center, California State University, Northridge.

Reviewers: Jeanne Blankenship, MS, RD, Academy Policy Initiatives and Advocacy, Washington, DC; Sharon Denny, MS, RD, Academy Knowledge Center, Chicago, IL; Public Health/Community Nutrition dietetic practice group (Katrina Holt, MPH, MS, RD, Georgetown University, Washington, DC); Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine DPG (Erica Kasuli, MS, RD, CDN, Consultant, New York, NY); Catherine J. Klein, PhD, RD (Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC); Steven M. Levy, DDS, MPH (University of Iowa, Iowa City); Esther Myers, PhD, RD, FADA (Academy Research and Strategic Business Development, Chicago, IL); Pediatric Nutrition DPG (Beth Ogata, University of Washington, Seattle); Quality Management Committee (Marsha R. Stieber, MSA, RD, CNSC, Mesa, AZ); Gary M. Whitford, PhD, DMD, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta.

Academy Positions Committee Workgroup: James H. Swain, PhD, RD, LD, chair; Dian O. Weddle, PhD, RD, FADA; Lisa F. Harper Mallonee, MPH, RD, LD, content advisor; Leon E. Stanislav, DDS, content advisor.

We thank the reviewers for their many constructive comments and suggestions. The reviewers were not asked to endorse this position or the supporting paper.