AIMS: To assess via a questionnaire the changes in knowledge and prescription habits for systemic fluoride of physicians at maternal and infant protection centres (MIP) and paediatricians in private practice (PPP) in the Brittany region between 2003 and 2014.
METHODS: In both 2003 and 2014, the same seven-question survey was mailed to PPP (110 in 2003 and 101 in 2014) and MIP (61 in 2003 and 71 in 2014). An eighth question was added in 2014 about French guidelines published in 2008 (AFSSAPS guidelines).
RESULTS: The overall response rate was significantly higher in 2003 (69.0%) than in 2014 (54.7%). In 2014 systemic fluoride was still considered an effective means of caries prevention (79.8% vs. 98.7% in 2003) and systematic prescription of fluoride supplements was less common (39.4 vs. 87.0% in 2003). When prescribed, systemic fluoride was given after the first 6 months of a child’s life in 2014 (79.8%) instead of within the first month of life (73.5%) in 2003.
CONCLUSIONS: Paediatricians and MIP physicians in Brittany were significantly less prone to routinely prescribe systemic fluoride in 2014. Certain sources of fluoride were still not well known in 2014. Collaboration and information sharing between dentists and physicians is necessary.