Fluoride Action Network


In Norway, there is no water fluoridation and little naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water. Fluoride toothpaste is used by 95% of the population and there is a long tradition of fluoride supplement use. The purpose of this study was to record the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis in 8-year-old children and relate this to systemic fluoride exposure (supplements and toothpaste). All children (n = 551, born 1988) in a municipality in Norway were invited to participate. Dental fluorosis on the buccal surface of the upper permanent incisors was recorded according to the Thylstrup-Fejerskov index (TF). Parents provided data on use of supplements and toothpaste. Complete data were obtained from 383 children. Sixty-seven percent of the children had used fluoride supplements regularly during childhood. At 8 months or earlier, the teeth of 26% of the children, and at age 14 months or earlier the teeth of 82%, were being brushed. Among children who used fluoride supplements regularly, periodically, seldom and not at all, 45%, 21%, 10% and 0%, respectively, had dental fluorosis. The dental fluorosis was mild (TF = 1) in 87% of the cases. Bivariate and multivariate analyses showed that, in addition to use of fluoride supplements, starting toothbrushing at an early age was associated with higher prevalence of dental fluorosis. The child’s birth weight and liking for or swallowing of toothpaste did not influence the prevalence of fluorosis. Risk factors for fluorosis were use of toothpaste before the age of 14 months and regular use of fluoride supplements during childhood.