Everything You Need to Know About High Fluoride Toothpaste and Dental Caries

Man cleaning teeth

Although we wish to make it clear that Kennett Road Dental Practice is open and ready to help you with both routine appointments and urgent treatments, we know that for many, visiting the surgery is still difficult. As a preventative measure to avoid the coronavirus pandemic causing a rise in long-term dental problems, we have come up with a solution. We can prescribe high fluoride toothpaste to our patients who meet certain criteria. The aim of this is to help counteract the effects of not visiting the dentist and hygienist as often as you might otherwise have done.

We need to be clear though, that if you need to see us, you can do so in as safe an environment as it is possible for us to create. We are sanitising surfaces, ourselves and patient areas more often between appointments and have introduced several additional safety measures to protect our patients and ourselves. You can find a detailed video of our new safety procedures on our Facebook page or by clicking here.  We are able to see you for both emergency treatments as well as routine check-ups, but with the extra hygiene measures in place, fewer appointments are available than we would have offered before the coronavirus pandemic.

Even though we are able to see any patients who wish to receive dental care at this time, we also acknowledge that some of our patients will have to weigh the risks and benefits of leaving their homes more carefully than others. Because some people are at a higher risk of suffering with Covid-19 more seriously than others should they become infected, we decided that it would be wise to offer home preventative treatments for those who would benefit from it.

Happy mother and daughter cleaning teeth with toothbrushes on white

What is high fluoride toothpaste? Different toothpastes have different ratios of the tooth-protecting substance, fluoride. Baby toothpastes, for example contain much less fluoride than adult ones. Fluoride levels are measured in PPM or parts per million because most people only need a small amount of it to effectively fight tooth decay. According to the NHS website, children under six years old should have a toothpaste containing 1,000 ppm of fluoride, while most adult toothpastes contain between 1,300 and 1,500 ppm. High fluoride toothpaste contains a significantly higher level of fluoride, (up to 5,000) which effectively fights plaque and helps prevent tooth decay or caries in higher risk patients. The Oral Health Foundation states that “prescription high fluoride toothpaste at 5000ppm has more than three times the usual amount of fluoride you would expect in an adult toothpaste.”

We wish to stress that although prescription toothpastes may be a good preventative tool for some, nothing substitutes good dental health rituals at home and keeping regular check-up appointments with a dentist. High fluoride toothpaste is not a replacement for receiving professional dental care, but it can help aid your oral health, especially if you are at a high risk of tooth decay.

Who is it for? High fluoride toothpaste isn’t suitable for everyone. Hence why it requires a prescription. The oral health foundation explains that “sometimes following a dental check or caries risk assessment, you may need more fluoride in order to prevent tooth decay.” If your dentist has told you that you are at risk of tooth decay before, or if you think you match any of the risk factors that might suggest you are, consider talking to your dentist about a high fluoride toothpaste prescription.

Factors associated with a higher risk of tooth caries and decay are:

– Those with a past history of tooth decay and active tooth decay.

– The elderly.

– Those on medication containing sugar.

– Dry mouth sufferers, or those on medications that cause dry mouth.

– People undergoing cancer treatment causing dry mouth.

– People with diabetes.

– Those having orthodontic treatment.

– People with receding gums or those who have had insufficient restorations.

– Those with poor oral hygiene.

– People with high sugar diets.

– Those who do not attend a dental appointment regularly.

If you think any of these apply to you, then get in touch with your dentist to discuss whether a high fluoride toothpaste prescription might be advisable for you to prevent long-term oral and dental problems in the future.

How do I get it? The best way to assess whether you might benefit from a high fluoride toothpaste is to book an appointment with your dentist. They will be able to evaluate whether it is the right treatment for you or not. If you would rather not attend a physical appointment with us right now, then we urge you to still get in touch with us. Our phone lines can be very busy at this time answering other queries from our patients, but you can still contact us here via email or by using our online query form and we will get back to you.

As always, the team at Kennett Road Dental Practice wish you peace and safety, especially in these difficult times. Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you soon.


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