Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Easy Fluoride Treatments for your teeth
    engineerguy posted:
    Hi folks,

    Background info:

    My dentist prescribed some prescription grade fluoride toothpaste. For about $8, I got the generic toothpaste, with 1.8 oz of toothpaste. The fluoride concentration was 5000 ppm = 0.5% Fluoride, versus regular toothpaste 0.15% w/v fluoride ion. The prescription strength was only 3.3 times stronger than regular toothpaste.

    The instructions on the toothpaste was to brush thoroughly, and spit, but do not rinse. Do not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes.

    If you buy ACT fluoride mouthwash, the instructions are to rinse vigorously, spit, and not to eat or drink anything for 30 minutes.


    Brush with ordinary fluoride toothpaste. Spit, but leave a small trace of toothpaste in your mouth. Do not rinse. Or, rinse, and put a tiny bit of toothpaste back in you mouth. Don't eat or drink anything for 30 minutes.

    I think it has a mild tooth whitening affect also. (Fluorosis, in kids due to high fluoride mineral content in water, makes white spots in teeth.)

    A recent Scientific American article said that the fluoride, mixing with the saliva, is the benefit of the fluoride toothpaste.

    The amount of fluoride left in the mouth this way, is small compared to the amount of fluoride consumed with fluorinated water (1ppm), and also small compared to some cities where the water is naturally high in fluoride (up to 12 ppm, in some towns in Colorado. These towns had no cavities, and led dentists to discover fluoride, after WWII.).

    When you mix in Fuhrman's diet, and recommendation to eat 2 or 3 meals a day, no snacks, the teeth stay very clean. When I started eating 2-3 meals a day, my dentist asked me what I was doing. He shrugged and said, "squeaky clean", before cleaning my teeth.

    My dentist has recommended gum grafting to me, because I brushed too aggressively (in the past), leaving the soft dentin exposed at the base of the tooth, as the brush pushes the gums back (especially at the upper canine teeth). About 5 years ago, the dentist explained that the exposed soft dentin is likely to get lots of cavities. With the fluoride "treatments", I've had zero cavities.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
    Was this Helpful?
    11 of 22 found this helpful
    DeadManWalking56 responded:
    Any more consideration of the gum grafts ? I need to consider it also.
    An_192647 replied to DeadManWalking56's response:
    Hi DMW,

    Since I've had no cavities, I haven't considered it. I am trying to brush more gently, holding the brush with 3 fingers, not having the handle push against my palm.

    I believe leaving toothpaste in the mouth is very effective. The prescription toothpaste (only 3.3x stronger than ordinary toothpaste) does re-mineralize the teeth, in studies.

    So, I don't see the need for the grafts, if I am getting no cavities.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
    dalediane responded:
    I, too use 5000 PPM Fluoride toothpaste and you are WAY OFF. I am not trying to sound mean I just don't know where you got your FACTS FROM. The % of Fluoride is 1.1% NOT 0.5% Not sure how you missed that the 1.1% Sodium Fluoride is listed on every brand of Rx Toothpaste I have used. Also OTC Toothpaste has approximately "Much of the toothpaste sold in the United States has 1000 to 1100 parts per million fluoride. 4 TIMES LESS then the 5000 PPM 1.1% type" In European countries, such as the UK or Greece, the fluoride content is often higher; a NaF of 0.312% w/w (1,450 ppm fluoride) is not uncommon.. Please check using "Fluoride" as the search term.
    engineerguy replied to dalediane's response:
    Hi Dalediane,

    WoW. Thanks for digging up the "Easy Fluoride Treatments" tip, from 3 years ago. My how time flies. BUT, it's still a very valuable tip. Thanks

    Re: "I, too use 5000 PPM Fluoride toothpaste and you are WAY OFF. I am not trying to sound mean I just don't know where you got your FACTS FROM. The % of Fluoride is 1.1% NOT 0.5%"

    The % of sodium fluoride is 1.1%, not the % of fluoride.

    5000ppm fluoride means 5,000 / 1,000,000, or 5 / 1,000 or 0.5%. So, 5000ppm fluoride means 0.5% fluoride.

    The difference is that Sodium Fluoride contains Fluoride. When sodium fluoride dissolves in water, it ionizes into sodium and fluoride ions.

    If I may try your patience, here's a nostalgic trip back to high school chemistry:

    Atomic weights
    Sodium = 22.989. Let's call it 23.
    Fluoride = 18.998 Let's call it 19.
    Sodium Fluoride molecular weight = 23 19 = 42.
    Fluoride is 19/42 or 45.2% of the weight of Sodium Fluoride.
    So, 5000ppm Fluoride / .452 = 11,000 ppm Sodium Fluoride = 1.1% Sodium Fluoride.

    So, prescription strength 5000 ppm (or 0.5%) fluoride toothpaste, contains 1.1% Sodium Fluoride.

    Some toothpastes contain sodium monofluorophosphate. That has a different molecular weight.

    My regular Colgate lists "0.15% w/v fluoride ion". That would be 1500ppm. So, prescription toothpaste, with 5000ppm Fluoride (0.5%) has 3.3 times more fluoride.

    Re: "a NaF of 0.312% w/w (1,450 ppm fluoride) is not uncommon"

    Your numbers agree pretty closely with my calculations: Converting NaF (sodium Fluoride) to fluoride: 1450ppm fluoride (0.145%) divided by 0.452 = .320% Sodium fluoride (NaF).

    Does that help? Have you tried meditation?

    Best regards, EngineerGuy

    Spotlight: Member Stories

    55 year old male. Ex marathon runner and still an all around jock. I run, lift weights, yoga and box. I was a proud carnivore for 55 years. Few co...More

    Helpful Tips

    Killer Athlete's Foot Cure
    If you have athlete's foot, gently wash the affected area. I usually got it between my toes. Use a hair dryer on warm, to dry the foot for ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    12 of 21 found this helpful

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.