Science Policy

Dietary Fluoride Supplements

The International Association for Dental Research (IADR), realizing that dental caries (tooth decay) ranks among the most prevalent chronic diseases world-wide; and

Recognizing that the consequences of tooth decay include pain, infection, tooth loss, the subsequent need for costly restorative treatment, and absence from work and school; and

Recognizing that, while fluoridation of water supplies is the most effective and least expensive measure to prevent tooth decay, large numbers of people do not currently have access to the benefits of community fluoridation; and

Taking into account that over 20 years of research have clearly demonstrated the safety and efficacy of dietary fluoride supplements; now, therefore,

  1. Strongly recommends use of dietary fluoride supplements in areas where optimal fluoridation of water supplies is not available, and
  2. Urges researchers and health authorities of countries within each IADR Division to develop and promote dosage schedules for dietary fluoride supplements that are suitable for their particular area.

(adopted 1983)