Dental Problems

Different Forms of Dietary Fluoride Supplementations

Fluoride is one among the elements that help in preventing dental diseases, especially caries. The different forms of dietary fluoride supplementations that are administered in the following forms. Read on to know more.

Dietary-FluorideDifferent forms of dietary fluoride supplementations include the following:

Fluoride milk:

Milk fluoridation is suggested as an alternative to water fluoridation for caries prevention. Jolan Banoczy et al. (1984) undertook a longitudinal study to see the effect of milk consumption in 3 to 9 years old children with homogenous living condition. Children were given 200ml milk daily, fluoridated with 0.4mg of fluoride for preschoolers (3 to 5 years old) and 0.75mg for schoolers (3 to 5 years old) for 300 days in a year. Caries increment was seen considerably less in the second year and the third year compared to the first year.


Although most of the studies have shown evidence of protection from caries, milk is not an ideal vehicle for fluoride delivery because of the following reasons:

  • Milk fluoridation provides only a very limited exposure to kids, as milk consumption tends to decline by kids with increase in their age.
  • Absorption of milk fluoridation is slow when compared to the water fluoridation.

Fluoridated salt:

The addition of fluoride to table salt is a feasible way to deliver systemic fluoride, particularly in countries that lack a widespread municipal water system. Fluoridated salt has been sold in Switzerland for many years. France and a few countries in Western Hemisphere have introduced salt fluoridation in recent years. Initially supplementation was 90 mgF/kg of salt. Recently it is recommended in the range of 200 to 250 mgF/kg salt. Some of the commonly used salts are sodium fluoride (225mg/kg) and potassium fluoride (225mg/kg).

Advantages and disadvantages:

  • Salt fluoridation holds a great promise for underdeveloped countries where water fluoridation is not feasible due to limited water supply and not accessible to a majority of the community.
  • Salt is the vehicle, which is not expensive and is used almost in all the houses.
  • Fluoride supplied in salt is usually ingested with meals hence absorption is relatively slow.

Fluoride in sugar:

Several studies have shown that adding fluoride to sugar and sugar products has potential to reduce the cariogenic effect of sugar or fermentable carbohydrates among population groups, especially where it is impractical to use other fluoride vehicles.

42% reduction in caries was observed in a 3 year clinical trial. In Manipal department of pedodontics too, a clinical trial conducted with fluoridated sugar rinse in children has shown a high potential in controlling caries risk factors like salivary pH and S. mutans count compared to the control group.


  • It is believed that the marketing of cariologically harmless fluoridated sucrose products would increase the general consumption of sucrose and thus will promote a nutritional imbalance.
  • Further more, one type of fluoridated sugary product may not reach all those needing the fluoride supplements.

Fluoride in citrus beverages:

Citrus beverages may also be considered as a potential vehicle for the administration of fluoride as dietary supplements. The commonly prescribed fluoride supplements are available in tablets, drops, vitamins, etc.

Fluoride supplements are generally prescribed by the practitioners for kids living in areas particularly with a suboptimal fluoride level in their drinking water.

Precautions to take care:

The important precautions to be considered while including

dietary fluoride supplementations

are listed below.

  • Before prescribing the fluoride supplement for a child, a dentist or physician should know the child’s age and also the concentration of fluoride content in the child’s “primary source” of community or drinking water.
  • Generally infants are given fluoride drops with or without vitamins, which are directly placed in the mouth or added as foods.
  • Fluoride tablets are generally prescribed after a child has a full complement of the primary teeth. The effectiveness of fluoride drops or tablets is neither enhanced nor reduced by adding vitamins.
  • However, there may be increased compliance as a separate route is avoided when fluoride is prescribed in vitamins.

The above article describes briefly about different forms of

dietary fluoride supplementations


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