d. Infants. One 2.2 mg tablet of sodium fluoride completely dissolved in 1 quart
of water will provide infants with fluoridated water containing approximately 1 ppm.
e. Dietary Supplements. Vitamins and sodium fluoride have been combined in
a number of products marketed as dietary supplements for infants and children. These
products are prescribed rather frequently by pediatricians. There is little question of the
effectiveness of the fluoride in vitamins in reducing the incidence of dental caries when
used daily. However, there is no evidence that the inclusion of the vitamins enhances
the effectiveness of the fluoride. The fixed proportion of ingredients in the combination
also makes it more difficult to adjust appropriately the amount of fluoride prescribed in
areas where the drinking water contains substantial but inadequate levels of fluoride.
For these reasons, the Council on Dental Therapeutics has accepted brands of sodium
fluoride as dietary supplements, but has not accepted combinations with vitamins.
f. Prenatal Use. Prenatal fluoride administration has not consistently
demonstrated beneficial results. The US Food and Drug Administration banned the
marketing of fluoride-containing products that made claims of preventing decay in
children whose mother ingested fluoride during pregnancy.
3-18. TOPICAL APPLICATION
a. General. Fluoride may also be applied directly to the surface of the teeth.
The effectiveness of topically applied fluoride varies with the concentration of the
solution used and the method and frequency of application. A number of fluoride
preparations are available for topical use. These consist of sodium fluoride, acidulated
phosphate-fluoride, and stannous fluoride.
b. Mouth Rinses. Daily mouth rinsing with a solution of 0.05 percent sodium
fluoride or weekly rinsing with 0.2 percent sodium fluoride has been shown to reduce
the incidence of dental caries by about 30 percent in both fluoridated and nonfluoridated
c. Dentifrices. Currently both sodium fluoride and sodium
monofluorophosphate are being used as fluoride additives to toothpastes. Stannous
fluoride was used until 1981, but was discontinued. Daily use of any of the American
Dental Association approved toothpastes containing fluoride reduces caries by 20 to 40