• 1 Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia
  • 2 University College London
Malaysian Dental Journal, 2008;29(1):20-24.


The objectives were to assess the prevalence, severity, the psychological and social impacts of fluorosis among school children and their parents in the Kuala Pilah area, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Methods: A convenience sample of 431 students aged 16-17 years old from 3 secondary schools in Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan were selected. The students were assessed for presence of dental fluorosis using Dean’s Index and to assess impacts. Questionnaires were administered to all the dental fluorosis students and selected matched students with no fluorosis. They constituted a control group for the case control study. Questionnaires were sent to the parents of dental fluorosis and control non fluorosis cases. Results: The prevalence of dental fluorosis was 27.8%; 82% of the fluorosis cases were questionable to mild and 18% moderate to severe fluorosis. 16.1% of students with dental fluorosis and 8.5% of non-fluorosis students had psychological impacts. 12.8% of the parents of children with fluorosis reported that their child had an impact. More girls with fluorosis (35.7%) had psychological impacts compared than boys (25.0%). In the 16.1% of fluorosis cases who had psychological impacts, difficulty smiling and showing teeth, affected 35.7% of girls and 25 % of boys. The percentage of students with dental fluorosis who had psychological impacts on carrying out school work was 2.7%, and 3.6% had impacts related to going out with friends. Conclusions: There were considerable psychological impacts on smiling and showing teeth among Malaysian teenagers with dental fluorosis and some of their parents were concerned about the fluorosis. But the impacts were mild and do not have a major impact on students’ lives. Dental fluorosis is not aesthetically displeasing to most subjects but does have psychological and social impacts on a small percentage with fluorosis.