Reconnecting Practicing Hygienists with the Nation's Leading Educators and Researchers.

Maximizing the 
Advantages of Fluoride

Prescription fluoride offers a variety of benefits for kids and adults at high caries risk.

Fluoride has been integral to caries prevention for many decades and the development of new delivery methods has made the application of topical fluoride even easier. Foams, gels, varnish, and prescription dentifrice significantly reduce the risk of carious lesions, improving the oral health of all.

INDICATIONS: A dental caries preventive. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: Do not swallow. Keep out of reach of children. Acute burning in the mouth and sore tongue may be experienced by some individuals. If accidental ingestion occurs, side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. See Package Insert for additional safety information.

Prescription fluoride products — specifically dentifrice, such as Colgate® PreviDent® 5000 ppm (1.1% Sodium Fluoride) — offer five times the fluoride exposure than traditional toothpaste, can significantly decrease caries incidence, and may help arrest carious lesions. Patient compliance with prescription fluoride is also high as its application is as quick and simple as the use of traditional toothpaste.

Now, kids can also reap these benefits with the introduction of Colgate® PreviDent® 5000 ppm Kids (1.1% Sodium Fluoride), which is designed to maintain the integrity of both primary and permanent teeth in children ages 6 and older. Recommended for once daily use, kids brush with regular toothpaste in the morning and PreviDent® 5000 ppm Kids at night right before bedtime. With the addition of a delicious, kid-friendly flavor, “fruitilicious,” PreviDent® 5000 ppm Kids is the perfect addition to the caries-prevention armamentarium for young patients at significantly high caries risk.

Additionally, patients with an elevated risk for caries, those with crown and bridge work, and patients with orthodontic decalcification may benefit from Colgate® PreviDent® 5000 ppm Booster Plus (1.1% Sodium Fluoride), which contains tri-calcium phosphate to maximize fluoride dispersion and uptake.

Caries Conundrum

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental caries remains the most chronic disease of childhood.1 More than half of all children ages 6 to 8 have had at least one carious lesion in a primary tooth and more than half of adolescents ages 12 to 19 have had a carious lesion on at least one permanent tooth. Socioeconomic factors also play a role in caries prevalence — children in low-resource families are twice as likely to experience tooth decay.1

Fluoride is a key part of caries prevention and evidence supports this. Unfortunately, fluoride has become controversial in some circles. As such, dental hygienists need to be prepared with the facts.

More than a century ago, Dr. Frederick McKay and Dr. G.V. Black began investigating the cause of mottled teeth found among residents of Colorado Springs.2 The researchers discovered that the staining directly correlated to the absence of tooth decay, and that the presence of natural fluoride in the water was the cause of this incredible resistance to dental caries. Since then, the use of fluoride has evolved to reduce the risk of fluorosis while maximizing its caries-preventive benefits.

Regarding prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste, research demonstrates its effectiveness in both adults and children.3 When in-office fluoride treatment is combined with at-home prescription fluoride treatments, the benefits are even greater. Prescription-strength fluoride paste can be recommended to children ages 6 and older who can expectorate and are at high caries risk.4

Oral health professionals are called to help their patients live healthy lives. Decayed and filled teeth have a lasting effect on patients’ oral and overall health. At-home caries prevention with prescription-strength fluoride is an excellent approach to ensuring a lifetime of oral health. n


  1. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children’s Oral Health. Available at: Accessed December 11, 2023.
  2. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The Story of Fluoridation. Available at: Accessed December 11, 2023.
  3. Srinivasan M, Schimmel M, Riesen M, et al. High-fluoride toothpaste: a multicenter randomized controlled trial in adults. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2014;42: 333–340.
  4. Clark MB, Keels MA, Slayton RL; Section on Oral Health. Fluoride use in caries prevention in the primary care setting. Pediatrics. 2020;146:e2020034637.

Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals


From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. Jan/Feb 2024; 22(1):22

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