Knowledge of dentistry students about rational use of fluoride

INTRODUCTION: The use of fluorine in the form of fluoride is the main protective factor in the control of dental caries worldwide. Fluoride can be offered to the public in several ways, thus the most commonly used are the fluoridation of water supply and fluoridated dentifrice. However, exposure to fluorine may also occur through mouthwash solutions; by gels and materials for dental use; and through diet, by foods and industrialized beverages. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate students' knowledge from different semesters of State University of Southwest Bahia Dentistry course about the rational use of fluoride. MATERIAL AND METHOD: It was performed a cross-sectional study where the sample was composed by academics from different semesters of Dentistry course who answered a questionnaire in order to verify their knowledge of fluoride. RESULT: Among the interviewed academics, 58.16% considered high risk to caries and dentin hypersensitivity as the main factors for the fluoride indication. 64.29% stated that gel was the most suitable fluoridated product in their daily practice and 67.35% recommended fluoridated dentifrice for children older than six years. A Significant part of the sample claimed to know about the presence of fluoride in industrialized foods (91.84%) and recognized that fluoride is toxic (93.88%). CONCLUSION: Although the information about fluoride acquired during the course, a significant part of the students do not have knowledge of the subject in order to recommend it safely in their daily clinical practice.