Fluoride Action Network


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Available clinical and experimental data provide little evidence that the administration
of supplementary fluorides to the pregnant woman living in a nonfluoride area is of great benefit to the teeth of her offspring. Because calcification of the entire permanent and a large portion of the deciduous teeth is a postnatal process, it is suggested that in areas where there is no fluoridated drinking water, extra dietary fluorides be prescribed after birth or before tooth eruption.

Since fluoridation of the water supply has proved to be sound, feasible, economical and anticariogenic by reducing dental decay in children approximately 60 per cent,1,2 many dentists3-5 and physicians6 have prescribed dietary fluorides to expectant mothers in nonfluoridated areas to benefit the developing baby’s teeth.3,5,7 The fact that 1,821 of 12,421 American dentists recommended systemic prenatal sodium fluoride5 and pharmaceutical manufacturers have four available fluoride- vitamin preparations specifically for pregnant women6 warrants clarification as to the value of fluoride administered during pregnancy.

Despite reports to the contrary,3,4,8,9 there is little evidence to suggest that the diet of the mother during pregnancy will appreciably alter the condition of the teeth of her offspring.10 Available clinical data2,11,12 have not provided a complete answer to the question of whether children’s deciduous11 or permanent12,13 teeth are benefited by the ingestion of fluorides during the period of gestation. However, there has been no evidence to indicate that the usually recommended dietary levels of fluoride are in any way harmful to either the mother or the fetus.4,14 Therefore, the Council on Dental Therapeutics of the American Dental Association neither advocated nor discouraged the administration of supplements of fluorides to expectant mothers living in nonfluoride areas.15

Presently, on the basis of various experimental16-20 and clinical11-13 studies, it cannot be claimed that prenatal fluoride therapy alone will make the teeth of the offspring resistant to dental caries. In humans, calcification of the entire permanent dentition and of a large por…