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Fluoride Free Toothpaste doesn’t do the job

Fluoride Free Toothpaste doesn’t do the job

A new fluoride-free toothpaste has changed its advertising after being challenged to provide evidence to back its claims that it reduces plaque and tooth decay.

The toothpaste, called Grin, launched earlier this year and relies on propolis, manuka oil and sea salt as its key ingredients.

A complaint filed with the Advertising Standards Authority challenged Grin’s claims that those ingredients are effective and the company voluntarily withdrew most of its claims to settle part of the complaint.

However, the ASA agreed with the complainant that Grin’s continuing claim that manuka oil could help oral hygiene was not backed up by evidence and was, therefore, likely to ‘mislead and exploit the lack of knowledge of consumers’.

Grin had provided a single study conducted in vitro rather than in the conditions of a human mouth, which the ASA considered well short of its social responsibility to consumers.

The advocacy group Making Sense of Fluoride welcomed the ASA ruling, noting that fluoride toothpaste has a well-documented effect in reducing tooth decay and ideally should be part of everyone’s daily routine for a healthy smile.

“People can certainly choose to use a fluoride-free toothpaste,” says MSoF President Daniel Ryan, “but they should do so in the full knowledge that the only protection they’re really getting is the act of brushing itself, rather than from the product. Experts advise all ages to use a full fluoride toothpaste twice a day.”

Grin has recently launched a range of toothpaste especially for children, which Mr Ryan says is particularly concerning. “Grin has a vigorous social media campaign and well-meaning parents may unwittingly put their children’s oral health at real risk because the marketing doesn’t tell you how ineffective a fluoride-free toothpaste actually is. As well as preventing cavities, fluoride helps developing teeth grow strong - so if parents don’t even know they’re using an ineffective toothpaste, children’s teeth are extra vulnerable. That’s beyond sad when it’s so easily preventable.”


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