We conducted a survey during the 19992000 school year to obtain valid estimates of the oral health status of a probability sample of children in the 4 regions of the newly amalgamated city of Toronto. The results will be used in developing recommendations for programs to address the oral health problems identified. The Dental Indices System is the Ontario protocol whereby information on the oral health status and treatment needs of children can be obtained by direct assessment of the children. One of 2 specially trained dental hygienists examined each child's teeth and periodontal tissues using sterilized mouth mirrors and blunt probes with a standard light source. Overall, there were 3657 participants in the survey, of whom 2435 were aged 7 or 13 years; these 2 age groups formed the basis for the analysis. Forty percent of those aged 7 or 13 had had one or more decayed teeth. Approximately 7% of children in the younger age group had at least one condition requiring urgent care. Dental fluorosis of moderate severity (Tooth Surface Index of Fluorosis 2) was found among 14.0% of 7-year-olds, 12.3% of 13-year-olds and 13.2% of the 2 age groups combined. The prevalence of fluorosis was of the same order as all but one of the more recent studies performed in Toronto. The prevalence may fall as the recently imposed reduction in concentration of fluorides in city water takes effect. On the basis of these findings of fluorosis, Toronto Public Health should continue to monitor levels of dental fluorosis and caries and should continue its efforts to inform parents of very young children about the safe use of fluoridated dentifrice.
Has the Level of Dental Fluorosis Among Toronto Children Changed?
James Leake, DDS, DDPH, MSc
Fred Goettler, BMath, MASc, MSc
Hazel Stewart, DDS, DDPH
A b s t r a c t
MeSH Key Words: Canada; child; dental health surveys; fluorosis, dental/epidemiology
Reply to this article | View replies