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Survey of children’s fluorosis levels in the  Irish Republic and Northern Ireland (2002)

A survey of children across the whole of Ireland, published in 2002, found higher levels of dental fluorosis in fluoridated areas of the Irish Republic than in non-fluoridated areas of the Republic and in wholly non-fluoridated Northern Ireland. (1)

Amongst 12-year olds in fluoridated areas, 70% had ‘normal’ tooth enamel (i.e., no dental fluorosis), compared with 83% in non-fluoridated parts of the Republic and 80% in non-fluoridated Northern Ireland.

The survey found that 14% of 12-year olds had questionable fluorosis in fluoridated areas compared with 10% in non-fluoridated parts of the Republic and 12% in Northern Ireland.

When the prevalence figures for the more visible forms of fluorosis are combined,  the proportion of 12-year-olds in fluoridated areas affected by ‘very mild’ and higher categories was 16%, compared with 6% and 9% in non fluoridated communities in the Republic and Northern Ireland respectively.

The prevalence of mild, moderate or severe fluorosis (the types of fluorosis generally regarded to be of possible aesthetic concern) was 7% for fluoridated areas and 2% for non-fluoridated areas.  As the table shows, most of these cases were mild fluorosis.

  1. North South survey of children’s oral health in Ireland, 2002 (Whelton et al)