The Impact of Fluoride on Health

Volume 112, Issue 9, Pages 1443-1453 (September 2012)


It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to support optimal systemic and topical fluoride as an important public health measure to promote oral health and overall health throughout life. Fluoride is an important element in the mineralization of bone and teeth. The proper use of topical and systemic fluoride has resulted in major reductions in dental caries, and its associated disability. Dental caries remains the most prevalent chronic disease in children and affects all age groups of the population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have named fluoridation of water as one of the 10 most important public health measures of the 21th century. Currently more than 72% of the U.S. population that is served by community water systems, benefits from water fluoridation. However, only 27 states provide fluoridated water to more than three quarters of the state’s residents on public water systems. Fluoride also plays a role in bone health. However, the use of high doses of fluoride for osteoporosis prevention is considered only experimental at this point. Dietetics practitioners should routinely monitor and promote the use of topical fluorides for all age groups.

Erratum to be published in the April 2013 Journal:

  • For the Table appearing on page 1444, column 2, the title of that column should read: Reference weights kg (lb) (g should be kg)
  • On page 1443 the 1st sentence in the 2nd column under the section 'Physiology of Fluoride in the Body' should read as follows: 'Typically, about 80-90% of dietary fluoride is absorbed.'

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