Fluoride Toothpastes for Preschool Children

A systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the effects of fluoride (Fl) toothpastes on the prevention of dental caries in the primary dentition of preschool children. The review searched for randomized or quasi-randomized clinical trials, without idiom restraints, in 6 electronic databases, registers of ongoing trials, meeting abstracts, dentistry journals, and reference lists of potentially eligible studies. The search found 1,932 records and 159 full-text articles; 2 examiners independently read these documents. Data regarding characteristics of participants, interventions, outcomes, length of follow-up, and potential of bias were independently extracted by 2 examiners on the basis of predetermined criteria. Any disagreement was solved by consensus after consulting a third examiner. Pooled prevented fractions and relative risks were estimated separately for studies testing low Fl toothpastes (< 600 ppm) and those testing standard Fl toothpastes (1,000 to 1,500 ppm). Fulfilling the inclusion criteria, 8 clinical trials compared Fl toothpastes associated with oral health education against no intervention. When standard Fl toothpastes were compared to placebo or no intervention, significant caries reduction at surface, tooth, and individual level were observed. Low Fl toothpastes were effective only at surface level. The study concludes that standard Fl toothpastes are effective in reducing dental caries in the primary teeth of preschool children and thus their use should be recommended to this age group.
(Source: Santos APP et al. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2012. August 9, 2012)

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