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Infection Control

Frequently Asked Questions - Fluoride Mouth Rinse Program

 

Do gloves need to be worn when collecting waste generated by a fluoride mouth rinse program?

Gloves do not need to be worn when collecting waste (e.g., used disposable cups and napkins) generated by the fluoride mouth rinse program unless there is visible blood associated with these materials. Standard precautions1 apply to saliva, but only in health care settings. Procedures that constitute a fluoride mouth rinse program can be interpreted as differing from those commonly identified as dental procedures (e.g., bleeding would not be anticipated from rinsing fluoride solution in the mouth because sharp instruments would not be used). Standard precautions, therefore, would not be essential for a fluoride mouth rinse program.

It is important to recognize that national or state laws, rules, and regulations may take precedence over these CDC recommendations.

Are there any special procedures for handling waste generated from a fluoride mouth rinse program?

Special procedures for collecting waste (e.g., used disposable cups and napkins) generated from the fluoride mouth rinse program may not be necessary. Identifying wastes for which special precautions are indicated is largely a matter of judgment about the relative risk of disease transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines medical waste as microbiology laboratory waste (e.g., cultures and stocks), blood and blood products, pathology and anatomy waste, and certain sharp items (e.g, needles, scalpel blades). Waste generated by most fluoride mouth rinse programs would not be expected to include microbiology waste, blood or blood products, pathology waste or sharps. Thus, under most circumstances, handling this waste does not require special precautions.

It is important to recognize that national or state laws, rules, and regulations may take precedence over these CDC recommendations.

Selected References and Additional Resources

CDC. Updated U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines for the management of occupational exposures to HBV, HCV, and HIV and recommendations for postexposure prophylaxis. MMWR 2001;50(RR–11):3.

CDC. Recommendations for prevention of HIV transmission in health-care settings. MMWR 1987;36(2S):377–82,387–388.

CDC. Recommendations for using fluoride to prevent and control dental caries in the United States. MMWR 2001:50(No. RR–14):1–42.

CDC. Centers for Disease Control position on management of waste generated by fluoride mouth rinse programs in schools and institutions. J Public Health Dent 1994;54(1):58.

Siegel JD, Rhinehart E, Jackson M, Chiarello L, and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, 2007. Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings. 2007:1–225.

Footnote

  1. Standard Precautions incorporate the major features of Universal Precautions in that they are designed for the care of all patients regardless of their diagnosis or presumed infection status. This term has gradually replaced the term Universal Precautions in most health care settings. Because the principles of Universal Precautions and Standard Precautions are virtually identical, Universal Precautions will now be referred to as Standard Precautions in dental settings.

 

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