The use of fluoride for the prevention of dental erosion and erosive tooth wear in children and adolescents

  • A. LussiEmail author
  • M. A. R. Buzalaf
  • D. Duangthip
  • V. Anttonen
  • C. Ganss
  • S. H. João-Souza
  • T. Baumann
  • T. S. Carvalho
Invited Review



Erosive tooth wear (ETW) has gained increasing clinical relevance. It is estimated that worldwide 30–50% of deciduous and 20–45% of permanent teeth are affected. One of the most important nutritional factors causing ETW is the overconsumption of soft drinks, but also patient-related factors like reflux or eating disorders can lead to erosive lesions. Whether acids lead to erosive demineralisation depends on their degree of saturation with respect to tooth mineral at their actual pH.


Fluoride compounds like sodium or amine fluoride seem to be of limited efficacy against erosion, the main reason for this is the missing biofilm in the erosive process as well as the lower pH of the acids compared to bacterial acids. This means that to achieve some kind of preventive effect it would be necessary to use products with higher fluoride concentration, which is not an appropriate option for small children, and/or to increase the frequency of application. In addition, the fluoride compound plays a role as promising effects were found when fluoride is combined with titanium or stannous ions. TiF4 can cause acid-resistant surface coatings and when Sn2+/F formulations are applied, Sn is not only found on the surface but is also incorporated into enamel and dentine. Both effects make the tooth surface more resistant against acid demineralisation. Different fluoride-containing vehicles have been tested to prevent erosion/ETW, such as toothpastes, rinses, gels and varnishes. Toothpastes offer some degree of protection, especially Sn2+-containing formulations, but effects of the active ingredients are sometimes counteracted by the presence of abrasives.


Detecting associated factors and influencing them is the main instrument in arresting erosive tooth wear. Additionally, patients at risk for dental erosion should always use an additional fluoride source preferably containing Sn2+.


Erosive tooth wear Dental erosion Prevention Fluoride Tin Stannous fluoride Titanium tetrafluoride Acquired salivary pellicle Enamel Deciduous Permanent 



The authors thank Dr. Kitty JY Chen for Fig. 1.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Lussi
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. A. R. Buzalaf
    • 2
  • D. Duangthip
    • 3
  • V. Anttonen
    • 4
    • 5
  • C. Ganss
    • 6
  • S. H. João-Souza
    • 1
  • T. Baumann
    • 1
  • T. S. Carvalho
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Restorative, Preventive, and Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dental MedicineUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Bauru School of DentistryUniversity of São PauloBauruBrazil
  3. 3.Faculty of DentistryThe University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  4. 4.Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, Department of Cariology, Endodontology and Pediatric DentistryUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  5. 5.Medical Research CenterOulu University Hospital and University of OuluOuluFinland
  6. 6.Department for Conservative and Preventive Dentistry, Dental ClinicJustus-Liebig-University GiessenGiessenGermany

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