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Review: increasing fluoride concentrations in toothpastes improved prevention of dental caries

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In children, does the use of higher-fluoride toothpaste compared with lower-fluoride toothpaste or placebo reduce the incremental development of dental caries, and do baseline caries or supervised brushing influence the effect?

Review scope

Selected studies were randomised controlled trials (RCT) or cluster RCT in which children were randomly assigned to fluoride/non-fluoride groups or to fluoride groups of different concentrations and were followed up for 12 months or more.


The prevented fraction (PF) of caries is calculated by comparing an indicator of caries progression (decayed teeth and filled surfaces at follow-up/decayed teeth and filled surfaces at baseline) between the intervention and control groups. The difference between the two is expressed as a proportion of the progression in the control group.

Secondary outcomes were also examined including PF by tooth (rather than by surface), and the proportion developing new caries.

Review methods

Cochrane Oral Health Group's Trials Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched up to June 2009. There were no language restrictions, and the reference lists of selected articles were searched. Quality …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned, internally peer reviewed.