Objective: To determine urinary fluoride levels in school children in a non-fluoridated area in Trinidad and Tobago.
Method: Morning urine samples were requested from 750 children aged 5 to 14 years, attending a primary school in the area of St Joseph, north west Trinidad. Urine was collected at home and brought to school in labelled plastic bottles. Urinary fluoride concentration (ppm) was measured using an ionspecific electrode.
Results: Urine samples were available for 500 children (67%). Mean age was 8.5 years. Overall mean fluoride concentration was 0.5 ppm ± standard deviation (SD) 0.27; males (n = 263) were 0.58 ppm ± 0.28 and females (n = 237) 0.55 ppm ± 0.27. Children in the 5 to 7-year age group had the highest levels (0.64 ppm ± 0.33).
Conclusion: Mean urinary fluoride levels in this sample of school children were low indicating a fluoride intake below the optimum level for caries prevention. Fluoridation programmes may need to be implemented to increase fluoride intake among school children in the study area.