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J Public Health Dent. 2018 Mar;78(2):95-99. doi: 10.1111/jphd.12258. Epub 2017 Nov 24.

Does water fluoridation affect the prevalence of enamel fluorosis differently among racial and ethnic groups?

Author information

1
New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, USA.
2
California Department of Public Health, Chronic Disease Control Branch, Sacramento, CA, USA.
3
ECU School of Dental Medicine, Greenville, NC, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

There are reports showing higher prevalence of enamel fluorosis among African-American children. This study was conducted to assess whether the effect of water fluoride level on enamel fluorosis is different among different race/ethnicity groups among US school children.

METHODS:

Data from the National Survey of Oral Health of US School Children 1986-1987 were analyzed to determine the prevalence of enamel fluorosis among 7-17 year-old children. The association between race/ethnicity and enamel fluorosis was examined using logistic regression modeling after controlling for potential confounders age, gender, water fluoridation, other sources of fluoride, and region of residence.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of very mild to severe enamel fluorosis was 20.8 (95% CI, 15.4, 26.3) and 25.7 (95% CI, 15.0, 36.5) percent among non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black children, respectively. Neither the adjusted odds ratio of 1.3 (0.8, 2.0) for the non-Hispanic Black group nor the interaction effect between non-Hispanic Black and water fluoridation were statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Enamel fluorosis was not associated with race/ethnicity. Our analysis suggests that exposure to similar levels of fluoride in the water does not appear to place certain race/ethnic groups at a higher risk for developing enamel fluorosis, and lowering the optimal range of drinking water fluoride to a single value of 0.7 ppm will provide a level of protection against enamel fluorosis that will benefit all race/ethnicity groups.

KEYWORDS:

enamel fluorosis; prevalence; race and ethnicity

PMID:
29171664
DOI:
10.1111/jphd.12258

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