Study suggests average fluoride consumption among UK children is within recommended limits for minimising fluorosis risk (2013)
Average fluoride intake of 1 to 7 year olds
Figures cited in a paper by Maguire and Zohoori (British Dental Journal, June 2013) show that British children's total daily fluoride intake is generally within recommended limits for minimising the risk of dental fluorosis. (1)
For example, average fluoride consumption by 6 to 7 year olds from food, drinks (including fluoridated water) and toothpaste is reported to be between about 0.7 mg and 1.7 mg per day, well within the recommended upper limit of 2.5 mg. Average fluoride consumption by 1 to 3 year olds is reported to be around 0.7 mg per day, also well within the recommended limit of 1.5 mg.
In terms of minimising the risk of fluorosis, the authors stress the importance of parents making sure that young children smear only the recommended amount on to the brush and spit out the toothpaste after brushing.
European Food Safety Authority
In addition, figures from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), published in 2005, show that European children aged 1 to 8 years have fluoride intakes from food and water well below the recommended upper limit, provided that the fluoride content of their drinking water is not higher than 1.0 mg/L (the target concentration for fluoridation schemes in the UK). (2)
EFSA also reports that the increase in the prevalence of mild dental fluorosis observed in some countries has been attributed to the inappropriate use of dental care products, particularly of fluoride toothpaste. This adds further weight to the evidence-based clinical recommendations cited by Maguire and Zohoori on the amount of toothpaste that should be used by children and the need for them to avoid swallowing it.
Maguire A, Zohoori FV. Fluoride balance in infants and young children in the UK and its clinical relevance for the dental team. British Dental Journal 2013, 214, 587-593.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Opinion of the Scientific Panel on dietetic products, nutrition and allergies on a request from the Commission related to the tolerable upper intake level of fluoride. The EFSA Journal 2005, 192, 1-65.
QUOTE FROM EFSA REPORT
Total fluoride intakes well below recommended upper limit in areas with fluoridation schemes
“Children aged 1-8 years have fluoride intakes from food and water well below the UL (upper limit) provided the fluoride content of their drinking water is not higher than 1.0 mg/L. An increase in the prevalence of mild dental fluorosis observed in some countries has been attributed to the inappropriate use of dental care products, particularly of fluoridated toothpaste.”