Does More Fluoride Equal More Protection For Teeth?
Friday, 2 March 2018 | Admin
There’s no doubt that the introduction of fluoride has had a beneficial effect on the rates of decay, especially among children from deprived backgrounds, but it may be time to reassess the levels of fluoride that are given. Too much fluoride, caused either by fluoride treatment or children ingesting toothpaste, can cause fluorosis.
Professor Robert Hill has been researching this area for some years and is convinced that applying ever higher concentrations of fluoride to the teeth does not have the benefit that has previously been believed.
‘Simply increasing the amount of fluoride within the toothpaste is frankly a crude solution,’ he argues. ‘Much of the additional soluble fluoride just goes to waste.’
Professor Hill and his team have been working on bioactive glasses, initially developed for bone grafting, and have developed a toothpaste that contains a bioactive glass that delivers a combination of calcium, phosphate and fluoride ions to promote effective remineralisation of tooth enamel through the production of fluorapatite, the fluoride analogue of natural tooth mineral.
Because the fluoride in BioMin F toothpaste is incorporated within the structure of the glass, it is delivered gradually as the glass dissolves, and therefore a lower concentration (approximately equivalent to 600ppm) is required, yet is actually more effective.
The problem with fluoride toothpaste Professor Hill’s experiments have demonstrated that when conventional fluoride toothpaste containing a soluble fluoride such as Sodium fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate is used, there is an Immediate ‘high’ of fluoride in the mouth, but that this drops rapidly as the toothpaste is washed away by salivary flow, so that after around only 1.5 hours, the amount of fluoride that remains is below therapeutic levels (See graph).