OBJECTIVE: The object of this study was to quantify the amount of fluoride intake for individuals in the Napa area of Northern California and to correlate this to the prevalence of dental caries and socioeconomic status. This information will be used to help pursue funding for fluoridation of the community water supply. STUDY DESIGN: The information was gathered by administering a survey to patients in either English or Spanish. The participants were asked the questions by the examiner after recieveing verbal consent for participation and data was recorded. SETTING: Several locations in Napa were utilized for the collection of data. Community Health Clinic Ole and Sister Ann Dental Clinic who both serve those individuals without insurance and other medically underserved groups and Kaiser Pediatrics of Napa, serving those individuals who have medical insurance. RESULTS: Only 23% of the population (n=204) surveyed had at least 50% of recommended daily fluoride intake. Of all those surveyed the majority (57%) did not know what effect fluoride had on caries, either an increase or decrease. There was a relationship found with caries and fluoride intake, 33% of people having no caries received < 50% of adequate fluoride and of those receiving adequate fluoride, 77% did not have any caries. Socioeconomic class also influenced the number of caries, those in the poverty level greater than 250% had less caries (by approximately 20% than those in the lower class, this is possibly due to access to dental care. Fluoride consumption and socioeconomic class did not have statistical significance.
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