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Findings Suggest Fluoride Supplements During Pregnancy Provide Little or No Benefit

November 28, 2005

For women who take fluoride supplements during pregnancy, the hope is the extra fluoride one day will help their children form strong, decay resistant teeth.  As appealing as this idea is in theory, it remains poorly studied and, for some dental researchers, therefore quite controversial.  In the November-December issue of the journal Caries Research, a team of NIDCR grantees reopened the subject, comparing the fluoride content of deciduous, or “baby,” teeth that either had been exposed to pre and postnatal fluoride or postnatal fluoride only.  The teeth came from 185 small children who had participated previously in a randomized, double-blind study of prenatal fluoride supplementation.  After analyzing enamel and dentin samples from all of the teeth, the researchers concluded that those in the prenatal group had “no additional measurable uptake” of fluoride than those in the postnatal group.  The authors noted their data strengthen previous suggestions that prenatal fluoride supplementation “is of minor importance” compared to the benefits of fluoride treatments before the teeth erupt.


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This page last updated: February 26, 2014