Fluoride Action Network


This randomized, double-blind study tested the caries-preventive efficacy of prenatal fluoride supplementation in 798 children followed until age 5. Initially, 1,400 women in the first trimester of pregnancy residing in communities served by fluoride-deficient drinking water were randomly assigned to one of two groups. During the last 6 months of pregnancy the treatment group received 1 mg fluoride daily in the form of a tablet and the control group received a placebo. Both treatment and control subjects were encouraged to use postnatal dietary fluoride supplements. Caries was measured in children at age 3 and 5 while fluorosis was assessed at age 5. Caries activity was very low in both study groups: 92% of children remained caries-free in the treatment group and 91% remained caries-free in the placebo group. Fluorosis was observed in 26 subjects, all classified as very mild. Overall, there were no statistically significant differences in the study groups with respect to caries and fluorosis in deciduous teeth. The study had sufficient power to detect an absolute risk reduction of 5.1% while only a 1.5% reduction was observed. These findings do not support the hypothesis that prenatal fluoride has a strong caries-preventive effect.

*Abstract online at https://europepmc.org/article/MED/9165186#funding