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Prescription Topical Fluoride May Benefit Patients at Higher Risk for Tooth Decay, According to ADA

Posted under Dentistry for Children on March 11th, 2014 | No Comments

Some of us are at higher risk for dental caries (tooth decay and cavities) than others, and dentists have been recommending regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups for these patients.  However, recently experts have asserted that there is more that can be done.  According to the ADA (American Dental Association) Council on Scientific Affairs, a multidisciplinary expert panel, the application of prescription topical fluoride may benefit patients presenting higher risk for developing caries.  More specifically, it was stated that the topical fluoride is most effective for these patients when used in conjunction with drinking optimally fluoridated water as well as the regular use of toothpaste with fluoride.

The expert panel has recommended four-minute applications of the topical fluoride because all of the studies were conducted in four-minute time spans, and as Julie Frantsve-Hawley, Ph.D., senior director for theADACenterfor Evidence-based Dentistry, has pointed out, clinical studies have not been conducted to determine whether one minute is effective.  Dr. Frantsve-Hawley also states that “2.26 percent fluoride varnish or 1.23 percent fluoride (APF) gel are recommended for in-office treatments,” but “0.5 percent fluoride gel or paste or 0.09 percent are recommended for use at home.”

On the other hand, the panel recommends that APF foam (as opposed to the gel) should not be used in children younger than 6 years of age, as they might swallow it.  Furthermore, due to lack of evidence of benefit, the panel also does not recommend APF foam for adults and children over 6 years of age.  The full report of the ADA’s clinical recommendations, along with a guide that dentists can use as a resource when talking to patients, are available at

Dr. Huang and Dr. Lien at Santa Teresa Dental are dedicated to keeping up with ADA recommendations because they know that it’s vital to stay current with the latest dental information.  That way, they can continue to provide the best possible dental care to their many patients in Morgan Hill, CA.  You can be assured that the staff at Santa Teresa Dental are always well informed and up to date on the latest dental research and technology.  If you would like to set up an appointment to see us, you can call (408) 782-6568, e-mail us at, or request more information on our website at  Come see the difference a great smile makes atSanta Teresa Dental!