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A History and Update of Fluoride Dentifrices

Course Number: 94


The first therapeutic dentifrice contained fluoride and entered into the US market in the mid 1950s. The public was not convinced of the importance of such a product until the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance was awarded to a product in the early 1960s. Both public and market pressures have resulted in a continued development of new and improved products which not only have therapeutic value but also cosmetic value. These developments have led to the use of various fluoride agents, abrasives, and additives, as well as the introduction of new technologies into dentifrices. Although some products are designed to provide single benefits, such as caries protection, other products are designed to deliver multiple benefits, such as caries and plaque reduction, or caries protection coupled with alleviation of hypersensitivity. One of the more recent benefits to be delivered from some fluoride dentifrices is protection against dental erosion, an emerging oral care issue that can be addressed with the proper therapeutic approach. There have also been 2-step dentifrice systems introduced to deliver elevated levels of efficacy (e.g., whitening, gingivitis reduction). It is clear that dentifrices have gone through an incredible evolution over the past several decades, providing many options to help patients prevent and treat oral diseases and conditions.