In this study, the authors investigated fluoride levels in the serum of infants and children (n = 296) and in the breast milk from nursing mothers (n = 60) in Cairo city. Their goal was to evaluate the necessity and safety of implementing a fluoride supplementation program. The authors used an ion-selective electrode to assay fluoride by direct potentiometry. Also, 2- to 12-yr-old participants underwent clinical dental examinations to detect caries and/or fluorosis. The serum fluoride levels of infants were significantly lower than levels found in preschoolers and school-age children. Serum fluoride correlated positively with age; it was significantly lower during the 1st than 2nd yr of infancy (p = 0.005). Breast or formula feeding did not influence serum fluoride status; the fluoride levels in mothers' milk reflected the serum levels of their own infants. Dental examinations revealed that 81% of the children had caries, whereas there was no evidence of fluorosis. Serum fluoride levels did not vary with the presence or absence of dental caries and did not correlate with the number of decayed, missing, or filled teeth. Gender did not influence serum fluoride expression, and the percentile values were unrelated to height, weight, or head circumference. These findings suggest the necessity and safety of improving the fluoride consumption levels of infants and children in Cairo city. Wider-scale studies are needed to obtain better insight into the problem.
- Dental caries
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry
- Environmental Science(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis