Recent evidence has suggested that the cariostatic effects of topical fluoride (F) are related to the presence of low concentrations of ionic F in the oral environment. The purpose of this study was to compare the retention of F in the oral environment over 24-hour periods after the use of a F dentifrice or a F rinse. Groups of ten consenting adult subjects (age 18-52 years) brushed and/or rinsed (B/R) in a standardized manner twice per day in the morning (AM) and before bed (PM) with either a placebo dentifrice (8 ppm F), NaF dentifrice (1100 ppm F), or NaF rinse (225 ppm F). Experiments were performed with placebo dentifrice only (PD); F dentifrice only (FD); F dentifizce followed by F rinse (FD/FR); placebo dentifrice followed by F rinse (PD/FR); and F rinse followed by placebo dentifrice (FR/PD). Unstimulated whole saliva samples were collected at baseline and then at 0, 15, 30, and 45 min, 1, 2, and 8 hr after B/R in the AM, after B/R in the PM and upon rising the following morning. Salivary flow rate and F were determined for each sampling interval. The results of this study suggest that: (1) F rinse may be a more effective way of delivering topical F than F dentifrice; (2) based on F retention, the combination of FD/FR was not more effective than FR only (PD/FR); (3) older individuals with gingival recession retained higher F levels; and (4) bedtime F application resulted in longer F retention than did daytime application, which may have important implications for enamel remineralization.
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