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A-Z Fundamentals of Dentifrice: Oral Health Benefits in a Tube

Course Number: 670

Dentifrice Market Fundamentals

The use of dentifrice as part of normal daily hygiene practices in the United States is widespread. In fact, there are so many dentifrice options in the oral care aisle today it can be overwhelming. Patients often choose based on marketed benefit, cost, or turn to dental professionals for a product recommendation that will meet their specific oral care needs. Given the wide array of benefits delivered today, it is imperative that dental professionals proactively teach patients what specific product (Rx or OTC) will deliver their desired therapeutic or cosmetic outcomes.

It can be helpful for the dental professional to understand the regulatory environment and the process used by the ADA that guides product claims as this dictates how a product comes to market. However, in the end, the therapeutic benefit to the patient will depend upon professionals discussing home care options with patients and prescribing their use, whether OTC or Rx.

The first dentifrice ingredient clinically proven to provide a health benefit was fluoride, which can be delivered from one of several different fluoride-based compounds (three are allowed for use in the US under the US monograph system). Over time, dentifrices evolved to provide multiple therapeutic and cosmetic benefits. This course describes the most common dentifrice ingredients used for therapeutic benefits (caries, plaque/gingivitis, hypersensitivity and enamel erosion) as well as cosmetic ones (calculus, whitening, and bad breath), and it provides their mechanisms of action (MoA) and perspectives on how the market evolved to deliver multiple benefits in dentifrice formulations.