Fluoride Action Network


PURPOSE: With the increasing prevalence of dental fluorosis, improved understanding about esthetic perceptions of dental fluorosis is warranted. The purpose of this report was to present results concerning parents’ overall satisfaction with the appearance of their children’s teeth and factors related to dissatisfaction, comparing subjects with and without fluorosis and demarcated opacities. METHODS: Data were obtained from 577 parents in the Iowa Fluoride Study who answered a questionnaire concerning their satisfaction with the appearance of their children’s teeth at age 9 years, as well as several components of dissatisfaction. Concurrent assessment of the mixed dentition was made by 1 of 2 trained dentist examiners. RESULTS: Overall, 31% of parents were very satisfied, 51% somewhat satisfied, 16% somewhat dissatisfied, and 3% very dissatisfied with appearance. Parents of children without fluorosis were more likely to be very satisfied (46%) than were parents of children with questionable fluorosis (31%) or definitive fluorosis (22%). Among the 401 not “very satisfied,” 50% of those with fluorosis vs 40% with no fluorosis were concerned about color, 60% of both groups were concerned about alignment, 44% and 51%, respectively, were concerned about crowding, and 44% and 9%, respectively, were concerned about blotchiness. CONCLUSIONS: Fluorosis was associated with increased parental dissatisfaction with overall appearance, color, and blotchiness of their children’s teeth.