Formulation and fluoride content of dentifrices: a review of current patterns

Anisha Gupta*, Jennifer E. Gallagher, Ivor G. Chestnutt, Jenny Godson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Consumer oral hygiene products play a key role in improving and maintaining population oral health. The oral personal care market is rapidly diversifying; a growing number of dentifrices marketed a 'natural' and fluoride-free are entering mainstream retailers, which may have implications for the oral health of the population 'with regards to caries risk. Aims To investigate the range of fluoride concentrations, flavour formulations and delivery mechanisms of dentifrices available on the UK market. Methods A cross-sectional survey was used to catalogue dentifrices sold in a range of supermarkets, high-street pharmacy and health chains, and specialist online retailers. In addition, a standard search engine was used to examine dentifrice brands being sold in the UK. The fluoride content was recorded as parts per million (ppm) and the product name data were analysed for key terms using Microsoft Excel. Excluded from the survey were mouthwashes, rinses and non-dentifrice whitening products. Results Five hundred different toothpaste, tooth powder and tablet products from 95 different brands were recorded. Sixty percent of these contained a fluoride concentration of 1,000 ppm or above. Forty-five percent of all products had the recommended adult concentration of at least 1,350 ppm. Almost one-third (31%) contained no fluoride and 4% of products did not specify the absence, presence or concentration of fluoride. Conclusions This study has quantified and confirmed the increasingly diverse range of dentifrices for sale in the UK. A large number of fluoride-free products exist within a growing 'natural' and 'organic market'. The study also gives oral health professionals an insight into the diverse types of products available to consumers in order to appropriately advise patients on caries prevention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to the British Dental Association.


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