Cochrane Summaries

Trusted evidence. Informed decisions. Better health.

Fluoride mouthrinses for preventing dental caries in children and adolescents

Marinho VCC, Higgins JPT, Logan S, Sheiham A
Published Online: 
21 January 2009

Regular supervised use of fluoride mouthrinses by children would reduce their tooth decay, even if they drink fluoridated water and use fluoridated toothpaste.
Fluoride is a mineral that prevents tooth decay (dental caries). Since widespread use of fluoride toothpastes and water fluoridation, the value of additional fluoride has been questioned. Fluoride mouthrinse is a concentrated solution that needs to be used regularly to have an effect. The review of trials found that regular use of fluoride mouthrinse reduces tooth decay in children, regardless of other fluoride sources. One in two children with high levels of tooth decay (and one in 16 with the lowest levels) would have less decay. However, more research is needed on adverse effects and acceptability of mouthrinses.