Fluoride toothpaste (dentifrice) is purchased over the counter. The standard toothpaste contains 1,000-1,500 ppm F. Low fluoride options are available for young children . The use of high fluoride toothpaste (over 1,500 ppm F) may be recommended by dental professionals. Fluoride toothpaste helps to prevent dental caries by interacting with tooth structures and the oral biofilm.
Use and Application
Twice daily, apply approximately 1cm of the paste to the head of a toothbrush and brush the teeth for 2 minutes. Spit out and do not rinse, or rinse with a minimal amount of water. Children under the age of 6 should use an amount equal to the size of their little finger nail, and children under 2 years are recommended a smear layer (or grain of rice).
Effectiveness and Efficacy
Strong evidence suggests that the daily use of fluoride toothpaste is fundamental for effective caries prevention in all age groups and in all populations (1). The prevented fraction in permanent teeth is 24% compared with placebo . Toothpaste formulas containing less than 1,000 ppm F are less effective across the life course.
Fluoride toothpaste is safe when used according to recommendations. Ingestion of fluoride during the first three years of life may increase the risk of dental fluorosis. The amount of toothpaste used by toddlers and preschool children should be carefully monitored. Personalized fluoride regimens should be based on a risk analysis and a review of the patient’s current fluoride exposure.
Being a self-applied preventive measure, the cost effectiveness of fluoride toothpaste is outstanding. It is important that fluoride toothpastes are made available and affordable for customers worldwide.
Twice a day brushing with fluoride toothpaste has been shown to reduce caries in all age groups. Its use should be strongly advocated and encouraged with individual instructions.
Key Further Reading
1- Fluoride toothpastes of different concentrations for preventing dental caries.
Walsh T, Worthington HV, Glenny AM, Marinho VCC, Jeroncic A. Fluoride toothpastes of different concentrations for preventing dental caries. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD007868.
2- Cochrane reviews of randomized trials of fluoride therapies for preventing dental caries
Marinho, V.C., Cochrane reviews of randomized trials of fluoride therapies for preventing dental caries. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD007868.
ACFF Members can download the full reference document for Fluoride Toothpaste.