Objectives: This paper reports on patterns of dietary fluoride supplement use during infancy.
Methods: Data were collected by mail for a birth cohort (n = 1,072) studied at 6 weeks and 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of age.
Results: Percentages using supplements were 13.7 at 6 weeks, 13.4 at 3 months, 16.5 at 6 months, 13.0 at 9 months, and 12.1 at 12 months. Among those receiving supplements, mean proportions of weeks that supplements were received during the different time periods varied from 0.59 to 0.80. Number of days per week receiving supplements averaged 4.8 to 5.0. Mean fluoride dosages when supplements were received were 0.22 mg to 0.24 mg. Estimated average daily fluoride ingestion per day (among those receiving supplements during that time period and factoring in those days and weeks that supplements were not received) was 0.11 mg at 6 weeks, 0.15 mg at 3 months, 0.12 mg at 6 months, 0.11 mg at 9 months, and 0.14 mg at 12 months. Among the subset of 129 children with complete data at all time points who used supplements sometime during their first year of life, mean annual daily supplement dosage was 0.07 mg fluoride, with 75 percent having less than or equal to 0.10 mg. Those infants with mothers and fathers with more education were more likely to receive supplements.
Conclusions: Group average use of fluoride supplements was fairly consistent over the 12 months; however, individual patterns varied substantially. Estimated actual mean daily fluoride intake when including days that supplements were not received was substantially less than the recommended 0.25 mg per day.