An interesting article titled “Limited evidence suggests fluoride mouthrinse may reduce dental caries in children and adolescents” appears in the April 2017 issue of JADA written by Linda L. Cheng (issue 7, p263–266). The article explores the following question “In children and adolescents, does fluoride mouthrinse prevent dental caries compared with a placebo or no treatment?”
The article discusses how reviewers searched 9 databases with no restriction on language or date of publication up through April 22, 2016. At least 2 reviewers independently selected the studies, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias. Dental caries were defined as clinical and radiographic lesions recorded at the dentin level of diagnosis.
A total of 37 trials involving 15,813 children and adolescents, aged 6-14 years, were included in the results. Nearly all of the trials were conducted in schools on the supervised use of fluoride mouthrinse except for 2 studies that were conducted in a home-based setting.
Using a meta analysis the researchers determined that that supervised use of a fluoride mouthrinse is associated with a large reduction in caries increment tooth decay in the permanent teeth of children and adolescents.
A secondary objective of the study was to look at the whether the effect of the fluoride mouthrinse was affected by initial level of caries severity; background exposure to fluoride in water, salt, toothpastes, or other
fluoride sources other than those in the study; or the fluoride concentration or frequency of use. The researchers found no significant association between estimates of decayed, missing, and filled surfaces and prevented
fractions and baseline caries severity, background exposure to fluorides, rinsing frequency, or fluoride concentration in the secondary objective.
As such it would seem that younger children an adolescents receive flouride mouthrinse regularily to help prevent cavities and keep them from having to see the dentist often.