Socio-demographic features and fluoride technologies contributing to higher fluorosis scores in permanent teeth of Canadian children

Caries Res. Sep-Oct 2003;37(5):327-34. doi: 10.1159/000072163.


Objective: To examine levels of fluorosis among children in two Canadian communities exposed to fluoride.

Background: One community had discontinued fluoride, the other had maintained it. Water supplies, however, were fluoridated for all the children when their esthetically important teeth were mineralized.

Methods: We examined 8,277 children to assess Thystrup-Fejerskov Index (TFI) scores. Multivariate Poisson regression models were used to identify the relationship between TFI and water fluoride status, age, gender, SES, and dietary and fluoride exposure histories (supplements, rinses, toothpaste amount, tooth brushing frequency, and tooth brushing starting age). Parent(s) completed questionnaires.

Results: Overall, levels of fluorosis were low to mild, with residents of the fluoridation-ended communities having marginally higher TFI scores than those of the still-fluoridated community. Females had higher TFI scores than males. Children aged 10 years or more had higher TFI scores than younger children. Consuming bottled water between birth and 6 months of age was protective. Exposure to fluoridation technologies was consistently associated with fluorosis experience. Children who began brushing with fluoride toothpaste between their first and second birthdays had higher TFI scores than those who began between their second and third birthdays, regardless of daily brushing frequency. Children who regularly used supplements had higher TFI scores than those who did not. Children with a college-educated father had higher TFI scores than those whose fathers had less education.

Conclusions: Higher fluoride exposure slightly increased the likelihood that a child had a higher TFI score, especially when more fluoridation technologies were used at home.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • British Columbia / epidemiology
  • Cariostatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fathers / education
  • Female
  • Fluoridation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Fluorides / therapeutic use*
  • Fluorosis, Dental / classification
  • Fluorosis, Dental / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Toothbrushing / statistics & numerical data
  • Toothpastes / therapeutic use


  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Mouthwashes
  • Toothpastes
  • Fluorides