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Spec Care Dentist. 2003 Sep-Oct;23(5):177-9.

The use of topical fluoride to prevent or reverse dental caries.

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University of the Pacific, School of Dentistry, 2155 Webster Street, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.


Topical fluoride has been the main stay of caries prevention for many decades. There are several mechanisms which make it beneficial including inhibiting demineralization, enhancing remineralization, and inhibiting bacterial growth. Topical fluoride is available in many different forms. The concentrations of various fluoride preparations range from 225 parts per million (ppm) fluoride in over-the-counter oral rinses to 22,600 ppm in the fluoride varnishes. The clinician must decide which type of topical preparation is best suited for their patient. Patients with high caries risk may benefit from prescription strength fluorides (along with the other chemical and dietary therapies described in this issue of Special Care in Dentistry). The application of fluoride varnish is an excellent topical form for those patients who have access to dental care and for whom it is difficult to comply with the use of other topical forms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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