, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 2-5
Date: 28 Oct 2003

The rational use of oral care products in the elderly

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This review examines the evidence of the effectiveness of oral care products in preventing and controlling dental caries and periodontal disease in the ageing population. The strength of evidence is indicated using the following hierarchy: Type 1 (systematic reviews), Type 2 (randomised controlled trials), Type 3 (observational studies) and Type 4 (traditional reviews). Most of the evidence to support the effectiveness of fluoride products is extrapolated from studies involving children and adolescents. The few studies that have been performed in older adults suggest that fluoride toothpaste and, in the case of high caries risk individuals, the adjunctive use of other fluoride delivery systems, may be effective in preventing coronal and root caries. Some dentifrices containing triclosan have been shown to improve plaque control and gingival health and one, which contains triclosan/copolymer, reduces the progression of periodontitis in adults and high-risk individuals. Powered toothbrushes with an oscillation-rotation action are more effective in reducing plaque and improving gingival health than manual toothbrushes.

Affiliation: Robin Davies is an employee of Colgate-Palmolive (UK)