Cochrane Reviews on the benefits/risks of fluoride toothpastes

M. C. M. Wong, J. Clarkson, A. -M. Glenny, E. C. M. Lo, V. C. C. Marinho, B. W. K. Tsang, T. Walsh, H. V. Worthington

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    130 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This concise review presents two Cochrane Reviews undertaken to determine: (1) the relative effectiveness of fluoride toothpastes of different concentrations in preventing dental caries in children and adolescents; and (2) the relationship between the use of topical fluorides in young children and their risk of developing dental fluorosis. To determine the relative effectiveness of fluoride toothpastes of different concentrations, we undertook a network meta-analysis utilizing both direct and indirect comparisons from randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The review examining fluorosis included evidence from experimental and observational studies. The findings of the reviews confirm the benefits of using fluoride toothpaste, when compared with placebo, in preventing caries in children and adolescents, but only significantly for fluoride concentrations of 1000 ppm and above. The relative caries-preventive effects of fluoride toothpastes of different concentrations increase with higher fluoride concentration. However, there is weak, unreliable evidence that starting the use of fluoride toothpaste in children under 12 months of age may be associated with an increased risk of fluorosis. The decision of what fluoride levels to use for children under 6 years should be balanced between the risk of developing dental caries and that of mild fluorosis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)573-579
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Dental Research
    Volume90
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2011

    Keywords

    • caries
    • fluoride
    • systematic review
    • evidence-based medicine
    • PREVALENCE
    • FLUOROSIS
    • CHILDREN

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