This study determined fluoride (F) concentrations in whole saliva and dental plaque after intake of fluoridated milk using a randomised crossover experimental design. Eighteen healthy children (6–8 years) were subjected to each of four different 3-day drinking regimens: (a) 200 ml F-free tap water; (b) 200 ml tap water with 1.0 mg F; (c) 200 ml standard milk, and (d) 200 ml standard milk with 1.0 mg F. A washout period of 7 days was organised between the different drinking regimens. All children used F-free toothpaste prior to and during the trial and were instructed to avoid F-rich food and drinks. F concentration in unstimulated whole saliva was determined at baseline and after 15 and 120 min and in plaque samples at baseline and after 2 h. The mean baseline values ranged from 0.01 to 0.02 mg F/l in saliva and between 10.4 and 14.2 mg F/l in dental plaque. A statistically significant (p < 0.05) increase of F was disclosed in saliva 15 min after drinking F-containing milk and water (0.052 and 0.058 mg F/l, respectively). After 2 h, the salivary F concentrations were back to baseline values. In the plaque, however, a statistically significant (p < 0.01) twofold increase was found at 2 h after the intake of fluoridated milk and water, respectively. The results indicate that consumption of fluoridated milk contributes to a F storing process with significantly elevated F concentrations in dental plaque up to 2 h after intake. Further studies are required to determine the ‘therapeutic concentration’ of F in dental plaque after intake of fluoridated milk.

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