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Evidence-based Use of Fluoride in Contemporary Pediatric Dental Practice

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Fluoride is an important and effective means of reducing the caries incidence in children. Multiple fluoride products are available to dentists for use with their patients at risk for dental caries. The purposes of this paper are to: (1) review clinically salient evidence, primarily systematic reviews and meta-analyses, for the effectiveness of fluoride options and, where possible, combinations of fluoride exposures; and (2) make recommendations to dental practitioners based on the available evidence for the use of these various approaches in contemporary practice, particularly regarding the use of multiple fluoride sources. The available data suggest that therapeutic use of fluoride for children should focus on regimens that maximize topical contact, preferably in lower-dose, higher-frequency approaches. Current best practice includes recommending twice-daily use of a fluoridated dentifrice for children in optimally fluoridated and fluoride-deficient communities, coupled with professional application of topical fluoride gel, foam, or varnish. The addition of other fluoride regimens should be based on periodic caries risk assessments, recognizing that the additive effects of multiple fluoride modalities exhibit diminishing returns.
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Keywords: CARIES; DENTAL PRACTICE; FLUORIDE; PREVENTION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2006

More about this publication?
  • Pediatric Dentistry is the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. It is published bi-monthly and is internationally recognized as the leading journal in the area of pediatric dentistry. The journal promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. This peer-reviewed journal features scientific articles, case reports and abstracts of current pediatric dental research.
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