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Fluoride Use for Prevention

This is part II of our series on Contemporary Fluoride Use in Oral Health. For part I of this series, visit this link:  http://thenextdds.com/Podcasts/Contemporary-Fluoride-Use-in-Oral-Health/

 Learning Objectives:
After listening to this podcast, the listener should:
  • Understand how fluoride helps in the prevention of oral diseases such as caries
  • See how water fluoridation in schools and public drinking water can be used in tandem with dental procedures like Acidulated Phosphate Fluoride solutions

Community water fluoridation, one of the greatest public health achievements in the last century, is an effective means of reducing dental caries by adjusting the public water supply to an optimal level. Depending on the air temperature of an area, the fluoride level in the water supply can range from 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million. This range is based on the assumption that more water is consumed in warmer climates. Providing both systemic and topical effects, community water fluoridation reduces caries 40-50% for the primary dentition and 50-60% for the permanent teeth.2 Fluoridation continues to offer anti-caries benefits to older adults, thus preventing both coronal and root caries. Root caries incidence has been directly linked to a low fluoride concentration in drinking water, and lifelong residents of a community with near-optimum levels of water fluoridation have been shown to have an average of 30% fewer root caries than those in a nonflouridated community.

Related Reading:


  1. Limeback H. A re-examination of the pre-eruptive and post-eruptive mechanism of the anti-caries effects of fluoride: is there any anti-caries benefit from swallowing fluoride? Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 1999;27:62-71.
  1. Murray JJ, Rugg-Gunn AJ, Jenkins GN. Fluorides in Caries Prevention. Wright, Oxford, 3rd ed, 1991.
  1. Warren JJ. Levy SM. Systemic fluoride sources, amounts and effects of ingestion. Dental Clinics of North America. 1999;43(4):695-711.
  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Oral Health in America-A Report of the Surgeon General, Rockville, MD. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, 2000.
  1. Stephen KW. Fluoride prospects for the new millennium-community and individual patient aspects. Acta Odontol Scand 1999;57:352-55.
  1. Banting DW. International fluoride supplement recommendations. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 1999;27:57-61.
  1. Warren DP. Chan JT. Topical fluorides: efficacy, administration and safety. 1997;45(2):134-40.
  1. Newbrun E. Evolution of professionally applied fluoride therapies. Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry. 1999;20(Spec no. 1):5-9.
  1. Horowitz, HS et al. Evaluation of a self-administered prophylaxis and supervised toothbrushing with acidulated phosphate fluoride. Caries Res 1974;8: 39-51.
  1. Garcia-Godoy, F. et al. Acidulated phosphate fluoride treatment and formation of caries-like lesions in enamel: effect of application time. J. Clin. Ped. Dent 1995;19:105-110.


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