Fluoride Action Network


There is a widespread belief that an adequate intake of fluoride during the pre-eruptive stage of enamel formation (i.e., from the diet in frequent small doses throughout the day) will be protective against caries in later life. To obtain data on bio-availability and retention of fluoride in one age group (infants), we studied 3 treatment regimens: In Regimen A, small amounts of fluoride were obtained from the diet in frequent doses throughout the day; in Regimen B, a fluoride supplement (0.25 mg) was given once each day with a feeding; Regimen C was similar to regimen B except that the fluoride supplement was given 1 h before a feeding. For the 3 regimens, the respective mean absorptions of fluoride were 90.1, 88.9, and 96.0% of intake, and the respective retentions were 12.5, 47.1, and 52.3% of intake. Neither the difference in absorption nor the difference in retention between regimens B and C was statistically significant. By subtracting the background urinary excretion of fluoride (i.e., excretion of fluoride while diet was the sole source of fluoride) from the excretion after administration of the fluoride supplement, we calculated that 68.1% of the supplement of the supplement was retained in Regimen B and 73.0% of the supplement in Regimen C. The difference was not significant.