It is generally agreed that fluoride in toothpaste protects both adult and children’s teeth from decay and erosion, but there is debate as to the most effective way to deliver the fluoride, since soluble fluoride in many conventional toothpastes is largely washed away and wasted after a short time – even at high concentrations. Researchers in Gujarat, India, carried out a trial to compare levels of fluoride in children’s mouths following brushing with a popular conventional children’s toothpaste (Colgate for Kids) and with BioMin F based toothpaste (Elsenz), developed following many years of research at Queen Mary University London (QMUL).
Instead of containing soluble fluoride like most conventional toothpastes, fluoro calcium phosphosilicate is incorporated into the structure of BioMin F toothpastes. Using a long-acting dissolving mechanism, fluoride, in combination with calcium and phosphate, is slowly released over several hours. This allows fluorapatite to be deposited, forming a protective barrier on the tooth surface and replacing lost tooth mineral. Unlike soluble fluoride, which is rinsed away by saliva after a short period, BioMin F adheres to the tooth surface where it slowly dissolves to work with the saliva to produce fluorapatite, which is stable and resistant to acid attack.
The researchers divided the children into two groups, taking a sample of their saliva before they cleaned their teeth. They were instructed to brush their teeth under supervision with either BioMin F or Colgate for Kids, and the fluoride in their saliva was measured 30 minutes and one hour afterwards.
After 30 minutes, both groups showed an increase in fluoride levels, but after one hour the fluoride levels in the soluble fluoride group had fallen back to baseline, while the BioMin F group continued to have raised fluoride levels.
‘These new technology dentifrices could be a means of reducing the fluoride content of toothpastes for children, while ensuring adequate concentrations are maintained for longer. Therefore fluoro calcium phosphosilicate dentifrices may provide a new direction for caries prevention.’
These findings confirm previous studies in the QMUL laboratories using BioMin F which showed that fluoride was still present 12 hours after brushing; and some residual activity was seen even 24 hours after brushing. It is this continuous controlled release of fluoride, enhanced by the inclusion of phosphate in BioMin F, that means that lower levels of fluoride are needed to achieve greater remineralisation and protective effects than conventional toothpastes.
The protective benefits of BioMin F are now available in a special formulation, BioMin F for Kids.