Fluoride Action Network


Clinical trials of dietary fluoride supplements began in the 1940s in an effort to bring the benefits of fluoride to those who did not receive it through their drinking water. Following the early success of these trials, the Council on Dental Therapeutics of the American Dental Association (ADA) published its first recommendations for fluoride supplementation in 1958. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) followed with its own recommendations in 1972. During the 1970s a variety of alternative schedules appeared in the literature, most in reaction to the findings of unexpectedly high levels of enamel fluorosis in children being supplemented with the AAP schedule. In 1979 the ADA and AAP agreed on essentially identical schedules. During the 1980s, however, the prevalence of enamel fluorosis continued to increase, and fluoride supplements were found in some studies to be a risk factor for fluorosis. This finding prompted another round of dosage schedule recommendations in the early 1990s. This paper presents a history of fluoride dosage recommendations and reviews the recent proposals for reducing supplement dosage.