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J Public Health Dent. 1997 Summer;57(3):150-8.

Acute fluoride toxicity from ingesting home-use dental products in children, birth to 6 years of age.

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Texas A&M University System, Baylor College of Dentistry, Dallas 75266-0677, USA.



This paper analyzes reports to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) of suspected overingestion of fluoride by children younger than 6 years of age between 1989 and 1994, and estimates the probably toxic amounts of various home-use fluoride products in children younger than 6 years of age.


Annual incidence rates of reported fluoride exposures attributed to dietary supplements, toothpaste, and rinses were calculated. Probably toxic amounts of each product were calculated using the frequently cited dose of 5 mg/kg.


Children younger than 6 years of age accounted for more than 80 percent of reports of suspected overingestion. While the outcomes were generally not serious, several hundred children were treated at health care facilities each year. A 10 kg child who ingests 50 mg fluoride (10.1 g 1.1% NaF gel; 32.7 g 0.63% SnF2 gel; 33.3 g 1,500 ppm F toothpaste; 50 g 1,000 ppm F toothpaste; and 221 mL 0.05% NaF rinse) will have ingested a probably toxic dose.


Overingestion of fluoride products in the home is preventable. Dentists and other health care providers should educate parents and child care providers about the importance of keeping fluoride products out of reach of children. Manufacturers should be encouraged by the ADA and the FDA to use child-resistant packaging for all fluoride products intended for use in the home.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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