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J Dent Res. 2007 May;86(5):410-5.

Effectiveness of fluoride in preventing caries in adults.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Division of Oral Health, 4770 Buford Highway, MSF10, Chamblee, GA 30341, USA.


To date, no systematic reviews have found fluoride to be effective in preventing dental caries in adults. The objective of this meta-analysis was to examine the effectiveness of self- and professionally applied fluoride and water fluoridation among adults. We used a random-effects model to estimate the effect size of fluoride (absolute difference in annual caries increment or relative risk ratio) for all adults aged 20+ years and for adults aged 40+ years. Twenty studies were included in the final body of evidence. Among studies published after/during 1980, any fluoride (self- and professionally applied or water fluoridation) annually averted 0.29 (95%CI: 0.16-0.42) carious coronal and 0.22 (95%CI: 0.08-0.37) carious root surfaces. The prevented fraction for water fluoridation was 27% (95%CI: 19%-34%). These findings suggest that fluoride prevents caries among adults of all ages.

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