Use of fluoride as prevention and treatment for caries: literature review




Dental Caries; Fluoride; Treatment; Prevention.


The objective of this work was to carry out a literature review on the use of fluoride for the prevention and treatment of caries. For this, a search was carried out in the PubMed scientific database using the following keywords: dental caries, fluoride (fluoride), prevention, treatment and toxicity. Inclusion criteria included: (1) clinical studies or literature reviews; (2) published between 2000 and 2022; (3) in Portuguese or English; (4) with full text available. Exclusion criteria were: articles published outside the selected time period, methodology, or languages, as well as articles with the full text unavailable. In all, 31 articles were selected to compose this research. According to the results, the use of fluoride in the prevention of caries is based on the ability of this element to restore the balance of the demineralization and remineralization process of dental enamel. It is a versatile alternative, present in public health policies and that can be accessed in different ways, both at home and in the office. It was concluded that the use of fluoride is an important alternative for the prevention of dental caries, being considered a safe method that produces significant results in reducing the prevalence of this pathology.


Aoun, A., Darwiche, F., Al Hayek, S., & Doumit, J. (2018). The Fluoride Debate: The Pros and Cons of Fluoridation. Preventive nutrition and food science, 23(3), 171–180.

Baik, A., Alamoudi, N., El-Housseiny, A., & Altuwirqi, A. (2021). Fluoride Varnishes for Preventing Occlusal Dental Caries: A Review. Dentistry journal, 9(6), 64.

Buzalaf, M., Pessan, J. P., Honório, H. M., & TenCate, J. M. (2011). Mechanisms of action of fluoride for caries control. Monographs in oral science, 22, 97–114.

Carey C. M. (2014). Focus on fluorides: update on the use of fluoride for the prevention of dental caries. The journal of evidence-based dental practice, 14 Suppl, 95–102.

Clark, M. B., Slayton, R. L., & Section on Oral Health (2020). Fluoride use in caries prevention in the primary care setting. Pediatrics, 134(3), 626–633

Cury, J. A., de Oliveira, B. H., dos Santos, A. P., & Tenuta, L. M. (2016). Are fluoride releasing dental materials clinically effective on caries control?. Dental materials: official publication of the Academy of Dental Materials, 32(3), 323–333.

Gao, S. S., Chen, K. J., Duangthip, D., Wong, M., Lo, E., & Chu, C. H. (2020). Arresting early childhood caries using silver and fluoride products - A randomised trial. Journal of dentistry, 103, 103522.

Grandjean P. (2019). Developmental fluoride neurotoxicity: an updated review. Environmental health: a global access science source, 18(1), 110.

Griffin, S. O., Regnier, E., Griffin, P. M., & Huntley, V. (2007). Effectiveness of fluoride in preventing caries in adults. Journal of dental research, 86(5), 410–415.

Gupta, A., Sharda, S., Nishant, Shafiq, N., Kumar, A., & Goyal, A. (2020). Topical fluoride-antibacterial agent combined therapy versus topical fluoride monotherapy in preventing dental caries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European archives of paediatric dentistry: official journal of the European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry, 21(6), 629–646.

Guth, S., Hüser, S., Roth, A., et al. (2020). Toxicity of fluoride: critical evaluation of evidence for human developmental neurotoxicity in epidemiological studies, animal experiments and in vitro analyses. Archives of toxicology, 94(5), 1375–1415.

Horst, J. A., Tanzer, J. M., & Milgrom, P. M. (2018). Fluorides and Other Preventive Strategies for Tooth Decay. Dental clinics of North America, 62(2), 207–234.

Iheozor-Ejiofor, Z., Worthington, H. V., Walsh, T., O'Malley, L., Clarkson, J. E., Macey, R., Alam, R., Tugwell, P., Welch, V., & Glenny, A. M. (2015). Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 2015(6), CD010856.

Johnston, N. R., & Strobel, S. A. (2020). Principles of fluoride toxicity and the cellular response: a review. Archives of toxicology, 94(4), 1051–1069.

Jullien S. (2021). Prophylaxis of caries with fluoride for children under five years. BMC pediatrics, 21(Suppl 1), 351.

Marinho, V. C., Higgins, J. P., Sheiham, A., & Logan, S. (2003). Fluoride toothpastes for preventing dental caries in children and adolescents. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 2003(1), CD002278.

Martignon, S., Roncalli, A. G., Alvarez, E., Aránguiz, V., Feldens, C. A., &Buzalaf, M. (2021). Risk factors for dental caries in Latin American and Caribbean countries. Brazilian oral research, 35(suppl 01), e053.

Miranda, G., Alvarenga, M., Ferreira, M., Puty, B., Bittencourt, L. O., Fagundes, N., Pessan, J. P., Buzalaf, M., & Lima, R. R. (2021). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between fluoride exposure and neurological disorders. Scientific reports, 11(1), 22659.

O'Mullane, D. M., Baez, R. J., Jones, S., Lennon, M. A., Petersen, P. E., Rugg-Gunn, A. J., Whelton, H., &Whitford, G. M. (2016). Fluoride and Oral Health. Community dental health, 33(2), 69–99.

Pollick H. (2018). The Role of Fluoride in the Prevention of Tooth Decay. Pediatric clinics of North America, 65(5), 923–940.

Robinson C. (2009). Fluoride and the caries lesion: interactions and mechanism of action. European archives of paediatric dentistry : official journal of the European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry, 10(3), 136–140.

Rošin-Grget, K., Peroš, K., Sutej, I., & Bašić, K. (2013). The cariostatic mechanisms of fluoride. Acta medica academica, 42(2), 179–188.

Rother, E.T. (2007). Revisão sistemática X revisão narrativa. Acta Paulista de Enfermagem. 20 (2), 5-6.

Rugg-Gunn A. (2013). Dental caries: strategies to control this preventable disease. Acta medica academica, 42(2), 117–130.

Simmer, J. P., Hardy, N. C., Chinoy, A. F., Bartlett, J. D., & Hu, J. C. (2020). How Fluoride Protects Dental Enamel from Demineralization. Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, 10(2), 134–141.

Srivastava, S., & Flora, S. (2020). Fluoride in Drinking Water and Skeletal Fluorosis: a Review of the Global Impact. Current environmental health reports, 7(2), 140–146.

Takahashi, R., Ota, E., Hoshi, K., Naito, T., Toyoshima, Y., Yuasa, H., Mori, R., & Nango, E. (2017). Fluoride supplementation (with tablets, drops, lozenges or chewing gum) in pregnant women for preventing dental caries in the primary teeth of their children. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 10(10), CD011850.

Toumba, K. J., Twetman, S., Splieth, C., Parnell, C., van Loveren, C., & Lygidakis, N. Α. (2019). Guidelines on the use of fluoride for caries prevention in children: an updated EAPD policy document. European archives of paediatric dentistry: official journal of the European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry, 20(6), 507–516.

Walsh, T., Worthington, H. V., Glenny, A. M., Marinho, V. C., &Jeroncic, A. (2019). Fluoride toothpastes of different concentrations for preventing dental caries. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 3(3), CD007868.

Weyant, R. J., Tracy, S. L., Anselmo, T. T., Beltrán-Aguilar, E. D., Donly, K. J., Frese, W. A., Hujoel, P. P., Iafolla, T., Kohn, W., Kumar, J., Levy, S. M., Tinanoff, N., Wright, J. T., Zero, D., Aravamudhan, K., Frantsve-Hawley, J., Meyer, D. M., & American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs Expert Panel on Topical Fluoride Caries Preventive Agents (2013). Topical fluoride for caries prevention: executive summary of the updated clinical recommendations and supporting systematic review. Journal of the American Dental Association (1939), 144(11), 1279–1291.

Whelton, H. P., Spencer, A. J., Do, L. G., & Rugg-Gunn, A. J. (2019). Fluoride Revolution and Dental Caries: Evolution of Policies for Global Use. Journal of dental research, 98(8), 837–846.

Zhang, J., Sardana, D., Li, K. Y., Leung, K., & Lo, E. (2020). Topical Fluoride to Prevent Root Caries: Systematic Review with Network Meta-analysis. Journal of dental research, 99(5), 506–513.



How to Cite

SILVA, G. S. da .; CUNHA , T. C. R. da .; GUIMARÃES, T. G. F. A. Use of fluoride as prevention and treatment for caries: literature review. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 11, n. 10, p. e289111032848, 2022. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v11i10.32848. Disponível em: Acesso em: 3 oct. 2023.



Health Sciences