Use fluoride

Fluoride has been shown effective in the prevention of Dental Caries since 1901. Up till now fluoride has been widely used.

Food and drinking water

• Drinking water

By drinking fluoridated water, the intake of fluoride is adequate to prevent Dental Caries.

• Food

Fluoride is found in tea leaves and certain seafoods.

Oral care products

Fluoride is added in most of our oral care products, such as toothpaste, mouth rinse and dental floss. Researches have shown that daily toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste reduces the incidence of Dental Caries by 30%. This has proved that fluoride toothpastes are very effective in preventing Dental Caries.

• List of common oral care products with fluoride and directions of use

Oral Care Products Concentration of fluoride Directions of use
Adult Toothpaste 1,000-1,450ppm Brush the teeth with a pea-sized blob of toothpaste in the morning and before bed at night everyday
Children Toothpaste 500ppm
Mouth Rinse 230ppm 0.05%NaF Rinse for 1 minute daily
900ppm 0.2% NaF Rinse for 1minute weekly
Dental Floss   Use once daily.

• Points to note when using fluoride-containing products

A young child should use a pea-sized blob of children toothpaste which contains a lower concentration of fluoride. Ingestion of excessive amount of fluoride will lead to dental fluorosis with white patches found on the newly erupted permanent teeth.

Mouth Rinse

• For most people, there is no need to use fluoride mouth rinse. However, for those who are prone to Dental Caries, such as patients under orthodontic treatment or after radiotherapy, they need to use mouth rinse according to the instruction of the dentist.

• Children under 6 years of age should not use fluoride mouth rinse to avoid accidental ingestion.

Topical fluoride used by professionals

These topical fluoride agents are in very high concentration. The application of topical fluoride on the tooth surfaces can prevent Dental Caries or reduce tooth sensitivity. The dental care personnel usually choose a type of topical fluoride which is appropriate for the patient's oral health condition.

Types of professionally used topical fluoride

• Fluoride gel

This type of topical fluoride contains 12,300ppm of fluoride. Dental care personnel will put the fluoride gel onto a pre-formed dental tray and insert it into the patient's mouth for 4 to 6 minutes to allow the fluoride to penetrate into the teeth.

• Fluoride varnish

This type of topical fluoride contains 23,000ppm of fluoride. It is often used to treat dental caries at its initial stage. The varnish is placed on the affected tooth surface(s) and then allowed to dry on the tooth.

Points to note after topical fluoride treatment

To allow topical fluoride to fully function, please do not eat within 4 hours after application of topical fluoride.

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