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J Hum Lact. 2003 Nov;19(4):386-90.

Breastfeeding is protective against dental fluorosis in a nonfluoridated rural area of Ontario, Canada.

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Community Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.


To determine the relationship between early infant feeding and dental fluorosis in a non-fluoridated area, 1367 children were examined for fluorosis and given a water sample vial and questionnaire. 752 families responded (55%). Breastfeeding was reported by 69% of respondents, with 53.6% breastfed < 6 months, 35.3% 6-12 months, and 11.1% > 1 year. Formula feeding was reported by 84% of respondents, with 60.3% and 39.7% formula fed for < 1 year and > 1 year, respectively. Fluorosis prevalence was 23.3% and was present in 27.2%, 19.6% and 13.8% of children breastfed for < 6 months, 6-12 months, and > 12 months, respectively (P < .05). About 87% of formula fed children had tap water added to the bottle. Breastfeeding for > 6 months may protect children from developing fluorosis in the permanent incisors. This study suggests that dental professionals should support efforts to increase the rate and duration of breastfeeding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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