Fluoride Action Network


OBJECTIVE: The association between low birth weight and dental fluorosis was explored in a cross-sectional study to explain the higher prevalence of dental fluorosis among African-American children.

METHODS: Birth weight data on 960 children were obtained from the New York State Birth Registry. Data on race, fluoride exposure, sociodemographic characteristics, and dental fluorosis were available from a cross-sectional study conducted in Newburgh and Kingston. Associations among birth weight, race, and fluoride exposure from fluoridated water, regular use of supplements, brushing before the age of 2 years, and subject-level dental fluorosis were explored using logistic regression procedures.

RESULTS: The regression coefficients for the main effects and the two-way interaction effects associated with low birth weight, race, and fluoride exposure were not statistically significant. Even after controlling for low birth weight and fluoride exposure, African-American children had a statistically significant higher odds ratio (OR = 2.0). An analysis of the data limited to mandibular permanent first molars showed similar effects, except for evidence of effect modification in low birth weight children exposed to fluoride supplements.

CONCLUSIONS: Lower birth weight did not explain the higher prevalence of dental fluorosis observed among African-American children.