A Cochrane Review from 2004 evaluated fluoride for the prevention of demineralized white spot lesions (DWLs) during orthodontic treatment.54 This review included 15 trials with 723 participants and had less strength to their conclusions which were, “There is some evidence that the use of topical fluoride or fluoride-containing bonding materials during orthodontic treatment reduces the occurrence and severity of white spot lesions, however there is little evidence as to which method or combination of methods to deliver the fluoride is the most effective. Based on current best practice in other areas of dentistry, for which there is evidence, we recommend that patients with fixed braces rinse daily with a 0.05% sodium fluoride mouthrinse. More high quality, clinical research is required into the different modes of delivering fluoride to the orthodontic patient.” An update to the 2004 review was published in 2019 10 studies, with data from nine studies and compared eight interventions, involving 1798 randomised participants (1580 analysed).55 In the updated review, the authors “found a low level of certainty that 12,300 ppm F foam applied by a professional every 6 to 8 weeks throughout fixed orthodontic treatment, might be effective in reducing the proportion of orthodontic patients with new DLs. In addition, there is a low level of certainty that the patient use of a high fluoride toothpaste (5000 ppm F) throughout orthodontic treatment, might be more effective than a conventional fluoride toothpaste. These two comparisons were based on single studies. There was insufficient evidence of a difference regarding the professional application of fluoride varnish (7700 or 10,000 ppm F). Further adequately powered, randomised controlled trials are required to increase the certainty of these findings and to determine the best means of preventing DLs in patients undergoing fixed orthodontic treatment. The most accurate means of assessing adherence with the use of fluoride products by patients and any possible adverse effects also need to be considered. Future studies should follow up participants beyond the end of orthodontic treatment to determine the effect of DLs on patient satisfaction with treatment.”
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