Fluoride intake of children: considerations for dental caries and dental fluorosis

Monogr Oral Sci. 2011;22:1-19. doi: 10.1159/000325101. Epub 2011 Jun 23.


Caries incidence and prevalence have decreased significantly over the last few decades due to the widespread use of fluoride. However, an increase in the prevalence of dental fluorosis has been reported simultaneously in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities. Dental fluorosis occurs due to excessive fluoride intake during the critical period of tooth development. For the permanent maxillary central incisors, the window of maximum susceptibility to the occurrence of fluorosis is the first 3 years of life. Thus, during this time, a close monitoring of fluoride intake must be accomplished in order to avoid dental fluorosis. This review describes the main sources of fluoride intake that have been identified: fluoridated drinking water, fluoride toothpaste, dietary fluoride supplements and infant formulas. Recommendations on how to avoid excessive fluoride intake from these sources are also given.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cariostatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Fluoridation
  • Fluorides / administration & dosage*
  • Fluorosis, Dental / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Formula / administration & dosage
  • Odontogenesis / drug effects
  • Toothpastes / administration & dosage


  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Toothpastes
  • Fluorides