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Prague Med Rep. 2007;108(4):306-14.

Is systemic fluoride supplementation for dental caries prevention in children still justifiable?

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Charles University in Prague, First Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Dental Research, Czech Republic.


Introduction of systemic and topical fluorides into the prevention and control of dental caries represents the most significant issue in dentistry in the second half of the 20th century. Fluorides have brought a considerable decline in dental caries prevalence especially in countries with advanced economies. However expanding assortment of fluoride-containing preventives and oral cosmetics has brought some concerns regarding possible adverse effects due to multiple intake sources. This review of the literature on systemic administration of fluoride supplements in the prevention of dental caries summarizes data in historical, scientific and public health retrospective. Benefits and risks of this preventive measure with special respect to possible over intake resulting in dental fluorosis are evaluated. Based on the current state of the widespread presence of fluorides in oral hygienic means and employment of topical fluoride-containing preventives the recommendation of systemic administration of fluoride supplements addresses children at increased caries risk only, over three years old and invariably in individual dosage schedule related to fluoride intake background. The decision-making on the fluoride supplements prescription to children ought to be delegated on dentists and primary care paediatricians and by no means taken as a common preventive measure in paediatric population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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