• Rahimah Abdul Kadir Professor, Department of Community Dentistry University of Malaya
  • Latifah Abdol Latif Associate Professor, Centre for Foundation Studies in Science University of Malaya


fluorides, dentifrice


To date, fluorides has remained to be the best means of controlling dental caries. Fluoride is given either systematically via fluoridated water or topically through other supplements
including toothpastes. In recent years increasing prevalence of enamel defects or fluorosis is observed in both populations receiving or not receiving water fluoridation. It is suspected
that excessive ingestion of a "standard" 1000 to 1500 ppm fluoride from toothpastes might be a contributing factor to the presence of such defects. In Malaysia, reports of enamel
defects occurring amongst 12 to 16 year-old schoolchildren ranged between 67 to 88 percent. Where water fluoridation is available, the amount of fluorides received from the home
is between 0.3 to 0.5 ppm F. However, almost all toothpastes sold locally contains fluoride, the content of which is unknown to the consumers. This study reports on the analysis
of fluoride levels carried out on 20 toothpaste samples sold locally. Results showed that fluoride levels in all 20 samples ranged between 20 to 1970 ppm F. Only two of the 20 samples
analyzed, however, indicated having a level anywhere near the "standard" level. In addition, only two type~ of children's toothpaste with a fluoride concentration of 20 and 450 ppm F were commonly available as compared to adult toothpastes in all the samples studied.


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Original/Research Article