In vitro assessment of a toothpaste range specifically designed for children

David Churchley, Bruce R Schemehorn
International Dental Journal 2013, 63: 48-56

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the ability of a range of low abrasivity experimental toothpastes designed for use by children at different stages of their development (typically ages 0-2 years, 3-5 years and 6+ years) to promote fluoride uptake and remineralisation of artificial caries lesions.

METHODS: pH cycling study: demineralised human permanent enamel specimens were subjected to a daily pH cycling regime consisting of four 1-minute treatments with toothpaste slurries, a 4-hour acid challenge and remineralisation in pooled whole human saliva. Surface microhardness (SMH) was measured at baseline, 10 days and 20 days, and the fluoride content determined at 20 days. Enamel Fluoride Uptake (EFU): these studies were based on Method #40 described in the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing procedures. Abrasivity: relative enamel abrasivity (REA) and relative dentine abrasivity (RDA) were measured using the Hefferren abrasivity test. Bioavailable fluoride: the bioavailable fluoride was determined for all experimental toothpastes from slurries of one part toothpaste plus 10 parts deionised water.

RESULTS: Enamel remineralisation measured by changes in SMH correlated with enamel fluoride content. A statistically significant fluoride dose response was observed for all toothpastes tested across all age groups (P < 0.05). The fluoride content of specimens in the pH cycling model correlated with the EFU testing results. The enamel and dentine abrasivities were low and the level of bioavailable fluoride was high for all experimental toothpastes.

CONCLUSION: A series of low abrasivity experimental toothpastes were developed which were effective at promoting fluoride uptake and remineralisation of artificial caries lesions.

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