Self-applied Fluorides

Since xerostomia increases dental caries susceptibility in untreated individuals, particular attention should be paid to self-applied fluorides. Information should be given in a written format and application of a chosen fluoride product should be demonstrated. Choice of a self-applied fluoride depends on the severity of the patient’s caries experience (dental caries history) and/or the degree of salivary hypofunction. Patients who are at low to moderate risk of developing dental caries should use a 0.05 sodium fluoride mouthrinse (available over-the-counter) for 1-2 minutes at least once daily, before bedtime. Patients at high risk of dental caries should apply 1.1% neutral sodium fluoride gel (available by prescription only in gel form) in custom trays for five to ten minutes daily. To pass the fluoride interdentally, patients are advised to floss the fluoride in between the teeth at bedtime.23