Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate saliva and plaque as indicators of intraoral fluoride (F) levels after the use of conventional and high-fluoride dentifrices.
Materials and methods: Subjects were randomly assigned to brush their teeth with conventional (1000 ppm F), high-fluoride (5000 ppm F), and placebo dentifrices (fluoride free) for 10 days, following a double-blind, crossover protocol. Saliva and plaque samples were collected on the morning of the 5(th) and 10th days, respectively at 1 and 12 h after brushing, and analyzed with an ion-selective electrode after HMDS-facilitated diffusion. Data were analyzed by two-way repeated measures ANOVA, Tukey's test and Spearman's correlation coefficient (p < 0.05).
Results: Plaque and salivary F levels were significantly increased after the use of conventional and high-fluoride dentifrices when compared to values obtained for placebo, except plaque 12 h after the use of conventional dentifrice. A positive and significant correlation was found between fluoride concentrations in plaque and saliva for both times of sample collection.
Conclusion: Both indicators assessed were able to detect significant differences among treatments and between times after brushing. The use of a high-fluoride dentifrice is able to significantly increase intraoral fluoride levels throughout the day, being therefore a useful therapy for patients at high caries risk.
Clinical relevance: A dentifrice with high fluoride concentration could be regarded as a useful therapy of F delivery for high caries-risk patients, since intraoral F levels were sustained throughout most of the day after using this formulation.