Fluoride rinses

Fluoride rinses – Updates

Nonprescription fluoride rinses now on the market can add to the anti-cavity effect of a fluoride toothpaste, according to a proposed standard for fluoride dental products published Sept. 30 by FDA.

The proposal is a follow-up to an expert panel’s 1980 report that said fluoride rinses are effective for preventing tooth decay. That report resulted from FDA’s request to the scientific community to comment on whether users got additional benefits from more than one source of fluoride, such as fluoride toothpaste, fluoride-containing water, and professionally applied fluoride treatments.

After a review of the comments–including those of the Council on Dental Therapeutics of the American Dental Association–FDA concluded that combining fluoride from several sources (for example, from a toothpaste and a rinse) does produce added anti-decay protection. As a result, the agency has proposed that the labels of fluoride rinses be allowed to state: “The combined daily use of a fluoride rinse and a fluoride toothpaste can aid in reducing the incidence of dental cavities.”

FDA said the labeling should indicate that such a rinse is best used after brushing the teeth. The labels should also state that children under 12 should be supervised in their use of the products and that children under 6 should not use them unless a dentist or doctor has been consulted first. Too much fluoride consumption by children under 6 (who often have difficulty spitting out rinses and mouthwashes) can mottle or create dark spots or streaks on the teeth.

The proposed standard would also apply to fluoride gels, but FDA is not aware of any that are sold without prescriptions.

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