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Ingredients --

Stannous fluoride

Chemical Formula: SnF2

Synonyms

Tin fluoride

Description

White crystals.

Uses

Stannous fluoride is used in toothpastes and dental rinses to protect tooth enamel from attack by bacteria (cavities, also known as caries). It was the first fluoride used for that purpose, in the toothpaste Crest.

The active part of the molecule is the fluoride ion, which is why two other fluorine containing compounds, sodium fluoride, and sodium monofluorophosphate are also used.

Stannous fluoride can be used with abrasives that contain calcium, which prevents sodium fluoride from being effective. Sodium monofluorophosphate was developed to avoid infinging on the Crest patent.

Fluorides work in two ways. They reduce the ability of bacteria to make acids, and they remineralize the areas of the tooth that have been attacked by acids from bacteria.


By Simon Quellen Field

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