Amounts of fluoride in self-administered dental products: safety considerations for children.


With the increased use of various fluoride preparations for caries prevention, all dental personnel should know their potential toxicity and the margins of safety associated with their use. An understanding of the body's mechanisms for handling fluoride provides a rational basis for assessing the possible risks of excessive fluoride ingestion. Five to 10 g of sodium fluoride is considered a certainly lethal dose for a 70-kg adult. One quarter of the certainly lethal dose can be ingested without producing serious acute toxicity and is known as the safely tolerated dose. Comparisons of certainly lethal and safely tolerated doses for commonly used fluoride agents and procedures show that they can be applied with little or no risk of adverse acute effects, as long as they are used judiciously. If their use is abused, there is a risk of illness or even death. If amounts of fluoride close to the certainly lethal dose are ingested, the speed of initiating proper treatment is critical for survival. Vomiting should be induced, if it is not spontaneous; fluoride-binding liquids, such as milk or liquid or gel antacids, administered; and the patient taken to the nearest hospital for emergency care. Frequent ingestion of low but excessive quantities of fluoride during the period of tooth formation can lead to dental fluorosis. Particular concern is warranted for the ingestion of fluoride-containing toothpastes by young children and the inappropriate use of dietary fluoride supplements in communities with sufficient fluoride already present in drinking water.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


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@article{Heifetz1986AmountsOF, title={Amounts of fluoride in self-administered dental products: safety considerations for children.}, author={Stanley B Heifetz and Herschel S. Horowitz}, journal={Pediatrics}, year={1986}, volume={77 6}, pages={876-82} }