In unfluoridated communities, is fluoride supplementation effective for reducing cavities?

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Abstract

EVIDENCE-BASED ANSWER

Oral fluoride supplementation reduces the incidence of permanent teeth dental caries in children in communities without water fluoridation by 24% to 29% (SOR: A, metaanalysis of RCTs). Topical fluoride treatment reduces the fraction of dental caries by 26% at 1 year regardless of water fluoridation status (SOR: A, meta-analysis of RCTs). Oral fluoride supplementation should be prescribed for children starting at 6 months of age whose water supply is deficient in fluoride. Fluoride varnish should be applied to the teeth of infant and children starting at the age of primary tooth eruption (SOR: B, expert opinion based on meta-analyses of RCTs).

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