Fluoride Action Network


In the spring of 1996, foods and beverages most commonly consumed by adolescents were analyzed for fluoride as part of a larger investigation. These foods were selected by interviewing 711 adolescents, 12-14 years of age, who were long-time residents of either an optimally or negligibly fluoridated community. The brand names of the identified foods and beverages most commonly purchased were determined by interviews with the parents. A total of 441 brand-name food and beverage items were purchased from both communities and were individually analyzed for fluoride. These analyses were done in order to estimate the fluoride content of various kinds of foods and beverages and to determine whether or not there was a significant difference between the two communities in the amount of fluoride ingested from these dietary sources. The food and beverage items were classified into dietary groups based on US Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines. Overall, the fluoride content of the sampled foods and beverages was low. In addition, there was no significant difference in the fluoride content of the same pre-packaged or ready-to-eat food or beverage items purchased in the two communities. However, a significant difference was found between the two communities in the fluoride content of fountain beverages and in cooked or reconstituted foods prepared using local water from the respective communities. Based on these results, we have estimated the mean daily, dietary fluoride intake for 3-5-year-old children who are more susceptible to developing dental fluorosis.