New guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer advice to pediatricians about use of fluoride to prevent dental caries in children.

“Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States”

(
MMWR
.
2001
;
50
:
1
-59)
provides a critical scientific review of the use of all modalities of fluoride. Based on the strength of the scientific evidence, the CDC developed guidance for health care providers, health agencies, manufacturers and the public, and changed the recommended fluoride exposure amount for children and adults.

In response to multiple inquiries about the risk of fluorosis, the CDC convened multiple work groups of experts in the field of fluoride to critically assess the appropriate use of fluoride. Dental fluorosis, a change in the appearance of teeth, is caused by the ingestion of an excessive amount of fluoride during early childhood when...

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