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Fluoride Protection

Fluoride Dentifrices

The use of a fluoride-containing dentifrice (toothpaste) is recommended for children and adults. Regular and thorough tooth brushing with a fluoride dentifrice will provide protection against tooth decay and added protection when used together with most other forms of fluoride therapy. An adult should closely supervise the use of a fluoride-containing dentifrice by children below the age of 6. Because preschool-age children are susceptible to developing dental fluorosis, only a small, pea-size portion of toothpaste should be put on their toothbrush for brushing.

Professional Application of Topical Fluorides

Dentists and dental hygienists often apply fluorides directly to the teeth. These topical fluorides are either in the form of gels, applied in mouth trays, or solutions painted directly on the teeth. Semiannual applications of these fluorides also substantially reduce dental decay.

The National Institute of Dental Research, one of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, is studying other approaches and methods of fluoride use. One such possibility is the use of fluoride compounds that could provide a protective cover on the teeth for many hours, as well as ways to release fluoride gradually in the mouth. These efforts are part of a broad program to find better ways of preventing dental decay.

For more information, contact your dentist, state or local health department, or the National Institutes of Dental Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892.

This text compliments of :
National Institutes of Dental Research
Public Health Service
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892