Fluoride toothpastes and fluoride mouthrinses for home use

Andrew Rugg-Gunn, Jolan Bánóczy


Objective. To provide a brief commentary review of fluoride-containing toothpastes and mouthrinses with emphasis on their use at home. Toothpastes and mouthrinses are just two of many ways of providing fluoride for the prevention of dental caries. The first investigations into incorporating fluoride into toothpastes and mouthrinses were reported in the middle 1940s. Unlike water fluoridation (which is ‘automatic fluoridation’), fluoride-containing toothpastes and fluoridecontaining mouthrinses are, primarily, for home use and need to be purchased by the individual. By the 1960s, research indicated that fluoride could be successfully incorporated into toothpastes and clinical trials demonstrated their effectiveness. By the end of the 1970s, almost all toothpastes contained fluoride. The widespread use of fluoride-containing toothpastes is thought to be the main reason for much improved oral health in many countries. Of the many fluoride compounds investigated, sodium fluoride, with a compatible abrasive, is the most popular, although amine fluorides are used widely in Europe. The situation is similar for mouthrinses. Concentrations of fluoride (F), commonly found, are 1500 ppm (1500 μg F/g) for toothpastes and 225 ppm (225 μg F/ml) for mouthrinse. Several systematic reviews have concluded that fluoride-containing toothpastes and mouthrinses are effective, and that there is added benefit from their use with other fluoride delivery methods such as water fluoridation. Guidelines for the appropriate use of fluoride toothpastes and mouthrinses are available in many countries. Conclusion. Fluoride toothpastes and mouthrinses have been developed and extensive testing has demonstrated that they are effective and their use should be encouraged.


Toothpast; Mouthrinse; Fluoride; Dental caries prevention; Oral health

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5644/ama2006-124.84


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