What Is Stannous Fluoride Toothpaste?


The toothpaste aisle of the drugstore can be a daunting place, filled with a dizzying array of options. With so many toothpastes to choose from, how do you select the one that's best for you? Understanding the specific benefits of toothpaste ingredients, such as stannous fluoride, can help you make an informed choice.

Stannous fluoride toothpaste is an oral care product that offers powerful benefits when used as part of a good oral hygiene routine. Here's what you need to know about its unique properties.

What Is Fluoride and What Are Its Oral Health Benefits?

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel, which is why it is often found in oral care products. In fact, fluoride is considered such an essential ingredient in toothpaste that the American Dental Association (ADA) only awards its ADA Seal of Acceptance to toothpastes that contain it. There are several forms of fluoride that you may find in your toothpaste, one of them being stannous fluoride.

Fluoride toothpaste, including stannous fluoride toothpaste, helps fight cavities and prevent tooth decay in two ways. First, according to a study published in PLOS One, it has the ability to prevent demineralization, a naturally occurring process during which tooth enamel loses its mineral content due to exposure to acids produced by bacteria or plaque in the mouth. When demineralization occurs, your teeth become weaker and more vulnerable to decay. Second, fluoride can remineralize or repair damaged tooth enamel before a cavity develops, an issue that requires treatment by a dentist.

What Is Stannous Fluoride and What Are Its Benefits?

Like other forms of fluoride, stannous fluoride is a common active ingredient in toothpaste and has been recognized by the ADA as an effective agent in reducing tooth decay. Additionally, stannous fluoride toothpaste provides other key benefits that make it a valuable addition to an oral hygiene routine. Stannous fluoride is the only form of fluoride that has anticavity, antimicrobial and anti-hypersensitivity properties, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. Here's how stannous fluoride delivers these three benefits.



    Stannous fluoride has been proven to help prevent and control cavities by strengthening tooth enamel and dentin, making those dental surfaces more resistant to acid attacks.




    Stannous fluoride is also recognized for its antimicrobial properties, meaning that it can kill the bacteria found in plaque that cause gum disease and tooth decay. A study published by the Archives of Oral Biology discovered that stannous fluoride significantly reduced the formation of plaque biofilm. The researchers monitored stannous fluoride's effect on three different species of common oral bacteria. When applied for two minutes twice daily for five days, the toothpaste containing stannous fluoride was found to suppress and control the bacteria better than the control toothpaste studied.




    Stannous fluoride helps reduce teeth sensitivity resulting from hot, cold, acidic and sticky foods and beverages. It does this by covering open dentinal tubules (tiny channels in the dentin that lead directly to the sensitive pulp at the tooth's center), explains the Academy of General Dentistry.


Note that to achieve these anticavity, antimicrobial and anti-hypersensitivity benefits, stannous fluoride toothpaste must be used consistently and incorporated into a regular oral care routine.

Is Tooth Decay Preventable?

There are multiple factors that cause cavities. Luckily, there are small steps you can take every day to reduce your risk of tooth decay. First, consider cutting down your intake of sugary foods and beverages. Bacteria on your teeth consume sugar and release acids that can eat away your tooth enamel.

Good oral hygiene habits are also key to preventing tooth decay. Brushing for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste — such as one containing stannous fluoride — and daily flossing can help prevent cavities and other oral health concerns, such as gum disease. Make sure to visit your dentist and dental hygienist every six months for regular cleanings. Twice-yearly dental appointments give your dental professional the chance to diagnose oral health concerns early on and provide you with guidance on how to maintain optimal oral hygiene.


This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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You can get the benefits of fluoride from different places. It can work from an external source and from the inside of your body. To work the best, you need to get it from both. At home, you and your family should brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day for two minutes, especially after eating breakfast and before bedtime.