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water from Bottles to Establish Strong Teeth (waterBEST)

waterBEST is a research study to see if if fluoride in bottled water can help prevent cavities in early childhood.

Age & Gender

  • 2 months ~ 6 months
  • Male, Female, Gender Inclusive


North Carolina (Craven, Lenoir, Pitt, Wayne)

What will be asked of you

At the start of the study, you will be given 5-gallon bottles of water and a dispenser to use throughout the study. A member of the study staff will call you monthly to see if you need more water. If you need more water and member of the study staff will visit your house and replace empty water bottles. Every 3 months, a member of the study staff will check in with you and your child to see how you're doing. Once a year, a registered dental hygienist will visit your child for a dental screening. At the same visit, fingernail clippings from your child will be collected. When your child turns 4, a dentist will conduct an exam to measure the amount of tooth decay.


Up to $480

Total length of participation:
4 years

Looking for Healthy Volunteers

Requirements for healthy volunteers are different than for those with a specific condition. If you are interested in becoming a healthy volunteer for this study, use the below categories to determine if you are able to participate.

Able to participate:

  • Your child is 2-6 months old
  • Your child lives in Lenoir, Pitt, Crave or Wayne County, NC.
  • Your child has no serious illness requiring frequent inpatient hospitalization
  • Your child does not take fluoride supplements
  • Your child will be drinking water by their 1st birthday

Not eligible if:

  • You plan on giving your child fluoride supplements by their 4th birthday
  • You expect to move more than 30 miles from your current address before your child's 4th birthday
  • There is another child at your house who is already in the study

Contact the Team

Visit Location

100% Remote (online, phone, text)

Additional Study Information

Principal Investigator

Gary Slade
Pediatric and Public Health

Study Type

Clinical or Medical

Study Topics

Child and Teen Health
Mouth and Teeth
Parents of Children

IRB Number


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