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Caries Res. 2004 Jan-Feb;38(1):20-8.

Prevalence and determinants of enamel fluorosis in Flemish schoolchildren.

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Dental School, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium.


As part of an epidemiological study on the oral health of Flemish schoolchildren, fluoride use was studied together with risk factors (medical history, tap water fluoride concentration, use of fluoride supplements, toothpaste and brushing habits). Fluorosis was scored according to the Thylstrup-Fejerskov index (TFI) in children aged 11 years (4,128 children examined). Explanatory variables were recorded yearly, starting at the age of 7. Earliest toothpaste use was reported at the age of 1. By age 7, 99.7% of the children reported the use of toothpaste (90% fluoride-containing), but only 13.9% reported using a pea-sized amount. At age 7, 66% of the children had received systemic fluoride supplements during at least part of their childhood. At 11 years, 92% of the children used a fluoride-containing toothpaste and 6% still received systemic fluoride supplements. Fluorosis was present in about 10% of all the children examined, mainly TFI score 1 (7.3% in upper central incisors). Logistic regression established tooth brushing frequency and fluoride supplement use, in addition to tap water fluoride concentrations above 0.7 mg/l, as significant risk factors when the presence of fluorosis on at least one tooth was used as outcome variable. Children having fluorosis had a lower risk of caries, both in the primary (median dmft 1, range 0-10 vs. 2, range 0-12) and permanent dentition (median DMFT 0, range 0-5 vs. 0, range 0-11).

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