Fluoride Gels for Preventing Dental Caries in Children and Adolescents
Description of Resource:
Tooth decay is a significant health problem worldwide, affecting 60% to 90% of children. Topically applied fluoride gels have been widely used as an intervention to prevent caries (cavities) in dental practices and school-based programs for over 3 decades. This systematic review aimed to determine the effectiveness of fluoride gels for preventing dental caries in children and adolescents. It identified 28 trials involving a total of 9,140 participants. It found that fluoride gels result in a 28% average reduction in decayed, missing, and filled tooth surfaces in permanent teeth—and a 20% average reduction in decayed, missing, and filled tooth surfaces in baby teeth. Future trials should assess potential adverse effects.