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Dentifrices. Part 2: the evidence behind their formulation

From Volume 51, Issue 3, March 2024 | Pages 171-175


Cees Valkenburg

MSc, PhD

Dentist, Clinical Epidemiologist

Articles by Cees Valkenburg

Email Cees Valkenburg

Fridus van der Weijden


Dentist, Periodontist, Implantologist

Articles by Fridus van der Weijden

Dagmar Else Slot

MSc, PhD

Dental Hygienist, Clinical Epidemiologist; Department of Periodontology, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Articles by Dagmar Else Slot


The intricate formulations of modern dentifrices position them as one of the most sophisticated pharmaceutical products available today. Dental care professionals, tasked with providing evidence-based recommendations, encounter numerous challenges with this everyday product. This necessitates a thorough grasp of dentifrice formulations, familiarity with testing procedures, profound insights into (clinical) trials regarding proven efficacy and safety, and staying updated on current scientific literature. Additionally, recommendations must be tailored to integrate with each individual patient's oral health status, needs, and preferences.

CPD/Clinical Relevance: Dentifrices are complex formulations, carefully prepared by the industry, which need to be proven effective in (clinical) trials, receive evidence-based recommendation from professionals, and be appreciated by end users.


Successful oral hygiene should rely on advice from the best, currently available evidence.1 A dental care professional should then be able to advise each individual patient on which dentifrice is most appropriate in his/her particular situation.

All major brands sell products that are supported by a substantial body of evidence. Many scientific publications on dentifrice are published or sponsored by the dentifrice industry. A recent meta-review regarding the evidence behind dentifrices,2 like most other scientific literature reviews, still does not include a recommendation for the individual consumer with respect to which specific dentifrice to choose and purchase.3 It is, therefore, debatable whether the professional has the correct scientific information from dentifrice research to offer effective advice on a dentifrice based on the patient's requirements. There are several challenges, as outlined in Table 1.

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