"The quality of fluoride toothpaste is instrumental for efficacy, as mentioned by WHO," said Carlos González-Cabezas, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor in the department of cariology, restorative sciences and endodontics at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and member of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs' Seal Subcommittee. "In the U.S., we are fortunate to have it regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, we have the ADA Seal program that confirms the quality of the product and gives consumers reassurance that they are using a product of high quality."
A study published in 2021 by the British Dental Journal showed increasing use of nonfluoridated toothpaste, "which should be cause for public health concern," Dr. Benzian said.
Nonfluoridated toothpastes are available in the U.S., but all toothpastes that earn the ADA Seal must contain fluoride. The American Dental Association has long supported the use of fluoride as safe and effective in preventing tooth decay in both children and adults.
"The recent WHO decision to include fluoride toothpaste in the Model List of Essential Medicines is great news for the dental community and for dental health worldwide," Dr. González-Cabezas said. "In the U.S., the ADA has been a strong supporter of fluoride toothpaste for many decades as it is one of the best evidence-based caries prevention strategies available to the general public. In fact, many would argue this is the most important reason for the decline in caries prevalence in most developed countries, including the U.S., in the last 50 years."
For a list of fluoride toothpastes with the Seal, visit ADA.org/Seal.