The extent to which water fluoridation has contributed to the considerable reduction of dental decay in children in recent times in Australia is unclear, due perhaps to the increasing availability of fluoride in other sources such as toothpaste, drops, tablets, and professional applications. It is proposed to monitor for approximately three years a sample of 30,000 primary and secondary school children to examine the precise contribution of consuming fluoridated water to tooth decay. The project also aims to examine the comparative role of diet, toothbrushing, socioeconomic status, and other factors in tooth decay.
The Child Fluoride Study (CFS Mark II) investigates the effectiveness of consuming fluoridated water in reducing children’s caries experience’ and extends the previous CFS in 1991. New methodological issues are being dealt with, which will lead to the improved precision of both exposure and disease variables in the study.
The objectives of the CFS Mark II are to establish the prevalence of dental caries among 5–15‑year‑old children and analyse their association with differing exposure to fluoridated water supplies and other sources of fluoride. The duration of the study is 3 years (±12 months) and involves at least 30,000 children in South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland.