Changes to legislation mean fluoride levels in tooth products can be lifted. Previously levels were capped at 1000 parts per million, with only dentists able to sell products with higher doses, but now over-the-counter products can contain 50 per cent more fluoride. One of the first to take advantage of the change is GlaxoSmithKline, which has a product with 1450 parts per million of fluoride, just short of the new legal cut-off of 1500 parts.
Its Macleans Iso-active foaming gel is also new in being the first foaming gel toothpaste in the New Zealand market.
The company claims the gel-to-foam oral cleanser delivers a superior, whiter result than regular toothpastes without harsh brushing because it better surrounds and penetrates hard-to-get-at areas between the teeth. While this may appeal to those who are not diligent with brushing, a two-minute clean and flossing is still recommended. Macleans Iso-active ($6.99) draws on similar technology to that seen in shaving foams and dispenses 120 pumps per aerosol container. Once the toothbrush is in the mouth, heat converts the gel coating to foam.
GlaxoSmithKline predicts more products will be marketed with differing fluoride levels, so as well as the existing baby and toddler formulas with smaller doses for young children who tend to swallow toothpaste, look for ascending levels for older children and adults.