Science&Technology: American Dental Association

15 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Science&Technology: American Dental Association

Fluoride levels in OTC products

In 2011, when the Department of Health and Human Services proposed changing its recommendation for the level of fluoride in optimally fluoridated municipal water to 0.7 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride ion (F), part of the consideration was the amount of fluoride received from all sources, including over-the-counter (OTC) products. This has given rise to a frequently asked question from ADA member dentists: how much fluoride is in a tube of toothpaste?

We know that 1000 ppm equals 1.0 mg F/ml and 1100 ppm equals 1.1 mg F/ml. The size of toothpaste tubes is given in fluid ounces (oz), and there are approximately 30 ml/oz. Therefore:

Utilizing those figures, we can calculate that there are 192 to 211 mg F in a large (6.4 oz.) tube of toothpaste and 138 to 152 mg F in a small (4.6 oz.) tube of toothpaste. The calculations are shown below.

6.4 oz tube of MFP toothpaste (1000 ppm F) has 30 mg F/oz X 6.4 oz = 192 mg F

4.6 oz tube of NaF toothpaste (1100 ppm F) has 33 mg F/oz X 4.6 oz = 152 mg F

To meet FDA regulations and to bear the ADA Seal of Acceptance, OTC toothpastes must have less than 276 mg F per tube.

The ADA Seal of Acceptance was created in 1931 to protect consumers from false advertising and unsafe products,including tooth powders made of chalk and a remedy for gum disease that contained enough sulfuric acid to act as a drain opener.

The FDA has regulatory authority over oral care products, and the ADA Seal Program is voluntary. However, the criteria the ADA uses for awarding the Seal are frequently more demanding that those of the FDA. Not all products submitted for evaluation earn the Seal, primarily due to insufficient data to prove safety and effectiveness.

It is not unusual for the ADA to ask a company to do additional product testing.

When you recommend products with the ADA Seal to your patients, you can trust that an independent scientific organization has evaluated the safety and effectiveness of those products, and that it has verified all claims of effectiveness.

Visit for a complete list of products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, as well as detailed product descriptions of each product.

Click here for reliable information from the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs about fluoride and fluoridation.

Sealants debate in the news

The ongoing debate over sealants was featured in a May 4 news article on stating less than 40 percent of dentists actually follow ADA recommendations on sealants according to a 2011 study by Temple University. The study tracked whether dentists were willing to place sealants over early lesions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs agree that sealants can prevent the progression of early noncavitated carious lesions.


On the other side of the debate, Dr. Gordon J. Christensen said he worries that sealants trap plaque on non-cavitated lesions, creating an environment that fuels future decay.

The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs published evidence-based clinical recommendations for the use of pit-and-fissure sealants in 2008, which can be accessed online at .

The expert panel that authored the clinical recommendations address the following questions in their report:

Under what circumstances should sealants be placed to prevent caries? Does placing sealants over early (noncavitated) lesions prevent progression of the lesion? Are there conditions that favor the placement of resin based versus glass ionomer cement sealants in terms of retention or caries prevention?

Are there any techniques that could improve sealants’ retention and effectiveness in caries prevention?

The following patient education materials are available through the ADA e-Catalog to help explain the benefits of dental sealants to your patients.

Product Forum to highlight infection control education

Planning to attend this year’s Annual Session and World Marketplace Exhibition at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from Oct. 1821? Stop by the ADA Professional Product Review’s Product Forum in the World Marketplace Exhibition (Thursday, Oct. 18 to Saturday, Oct.

20) and earn one free continuing education credit.

This year’s Product Forum, Infection Control: Protecting the Health of the Dentist, Dental Staff and Patients will feature an updated video, The ADA Practical Guide to Infection Control , along with an exhibit of disposable handpieces, safety needles, surface disinfectants, gloves and more.

For product evaluation results and other articles on surface disinfectants, steam sterilizers and water quality monitoring kits, you can access back issues of the Review here .

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