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It is best to use a toothpaste containing fluoride as this has a protective mechanism against developing decay.


Fluoride mouthwashes are also available and are exceptionally beneficial for older patients whose salivary flow may be reduced and who may have gum recession.

Both these factors can lead to an increase in decay and using an additional fluoride mouthrinse can reduce this risk.

Children’s recommended limits

For children there are recommendations for the concentrations of fluoride they should have in their tooth paste depending on age:

  • < 3years old – not less than 1000ppm fluoride in a SMEAR of toothpaste
  • 3-6 years old – not less than 1000ppm fluoride in a PEA SIZED amount
  • 6 years old – use paste containing 1350-1500ppm adult amount

It is best to discuss this with your dentist if you wish further advice.  Your dentist can also discuss with you whether you or, specifically,  your child(ren) may need additional fluoride in the way of daily mouth wash  or daily tablets or periodic applications of fluoride varnish, by the oral health team.

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