Guidelines on the use of fluoride for caries prevention in children: an updated EAPD policy document

Eur Arch Paediatr Dent. 2019 Dec;20(6):507-516. doi: 10.1007/s40368-019-00464-2. Epub 2019 Nov 8.


Aim: To update the exisitng European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry (EAPD) 2009 fluoride guidelines.

Methods: Experts met in Athens, Greece duirng November 2018 for the following groups: I Fluoride toothpastes, II Fluoride gels, rinses and varnishes, III Fluoridated milk, fluoridated salt, tablets/lozenges and drops, IV Water fluoridation. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses were reviewed and discussed for each of the groups. The GRADE system was used to assess the quality of evidence which was judged as HIGH, MODERATE, LOW or VERY LOW based on the assessment of eight criteria which can influence the confidence of the results. Following the quality assessment, GRADE was then used to indicate the strength of recommendation for each fluoride agent as STRONG or WEAK/CONDITIONAL.

Results: Parents must be strongly advised to apply an age-related amount of toothpaste and assist/supervise tooth brushing until at least 7 years of age. The EAPD strongly endorses the daily use of fluoride as a major part of any comprehensive programme for the prevention and control of dental caries in children. Regardless of the type of programme, community or individually based, the use of fluoride must be balanced between the estimation of caries-risk and the possible risks of adverse effects of the fluorides. Fluoride use is considered safe when the manufacturer's instructions are followed. Preventive programmes should be re-evaluated at regular intervals and adapted to a patient's or population's needs and risks.

Conclusions: For the majority of European Countries, the EAPD recommends the appropriate use of fluoride toothpaste in conjunction with good oral hygiene to be the basic fluoride regimen.

Keywords: Caries; Child; Fluoride.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Child
  • Dental Caries*
  • Europe
  • Fluorides*
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Toothpastes


  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Toothpastes
  • Fluorides