The Facts on Adult Fluoride

When is fluoride a good idea for your adult patients? To tackle this topic, a panel of experts led by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs compiled these evidence-based, clinical practice guidelines and review of professionally applied and home use topical fluoride agents for caries prevention. See the full guide here.

Remember, when creating a dental hygiene treatment plan:

  • Use your professional judgment to determine the correct concentration of fluoride based on clinical evidence, your patient’s individual caries risk and existing habits.
  • Make patient education, assessment of readiness for change, dietary advice, other preventive modalities and periodic clinical examinations part of the caries-prevention plan.
  • Ask your patient if they live in an optimally fluoridated community and use fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Review increased caries risk due to diet with sugary foods, previous caries, ability to perform oral self-care, medical status, missing teeth and dry mouth.
  • Think about feasibility and cost of the proposed intervention in public health settings.
  • Stay up to date on clinical trials, which are your best resource for possible outcomes due to the controlled nature of the trial.

At-Home Fluoride Use Products

The right at-home fluoride plan can help reduce sensitivity, remineralize weakened tooth structure and prevent caries lesions. Studies have shown that all patients, even those at low risk of caries, may benefit from over-the-counter (OTC) fluoride toothpaste and community water fluoridation.1 Fluoride mouth rinse is a concentrated solution intended for daily or weekly use. The most common fluoride compound used in mouth rinse is sodium fluoride. It’s available in over-thecounter solutions of 0.05% sodium fluoride (230 ppm fluoride) for use by persons older than 6 years of age.

Recommendations for Fluoride Products to Reduce Tooth Decay2

Product Type/Delivery PFluoride ppm Recommended for
Community Water Fluoridation 0.7 ppm everyone
Fluoride toothpaste/gel 0.24% sodium fluoride (NaF) 1,100 ppm everyone
Fluoride toothpaste/gel 0.24% sodium fluoride (NaF) 1,000 ppm everyone
Fluoride toothpaste/gel 0.76% sodium Monofluorophosphate 1,000 ppm everyone
Fluoride Rinse 0.45% Stannous Fluoride 230 ppm moderate risk
Fluoride Rinse 0.02221% NaF 100 ppm moderate risk
  1. Weyant RJ, Tracy SL, Anselmo T, et al. Topical Fluoride for caries prevention: executive summary of the updated clinical recommendations and supporting systematic review. J Am Dent Assoc. 2013;144:1279–1291.
  2. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other Fluoride Products. Available at: Accessed August 25,