Fluoride Action Network


OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to report on the prevalence of enamel opacities from seven European study sites using a standardized photographic method, and to investigate the importance of variables responsible for enamel fluorosis. METHODS: The sample comprised a randomly selected group of 300 8-year-old children in each of the study areas. One examiner from each area was trained and calibrated in the use of a standardized photographic technique. Two transparencies were taken of each child’s permanent maxillary central incisor teeth; one to represent the teeth ‘wet’ and one when the teeth had been allowed to dry out naturally for 105 s. The transparencies were viewed ‘blind’ by the author (JAC) and scored using the DDE and TF indices. Data relating to variables considered to be associated with enamel fluorosis were also collected. RESULTS: The prevalence of diffuse opacities ranged from 61% in fluoridated Cork (Ireland) to 28% in Athens (Greece). The percentage of subjects with a TF score of three or more ranged from 4% in Cork and nonfluoridated Haarlem (the Netherlands) to zero in Oulu (Finland) and Athens. Fluoridated water and the prolonged use of fluoride tablets were found to be significant contributory factors to fluorosis. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of fluorosis was found to be highest in fluoridated Cork. The prolonged use of fluoride supplements was also found to be a significant risk indicator associated with fluorosis.