BANGKOK – The Department of Health (DOH) is coordinating with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to indicate the amount of fluoride added to toothpaste for children, in order to prevent over consumption which may lead to mottled teeth. Children aged below three should not be given fluoride toothpaste over 500 PPM, but aged above six can use 1,000 PPM fluoride toothpaste because they can control swallowing.

According to the director-general Noppornthep Siriwanarangsan, in 2013, a survey conducted in supermarkets in Bangkok metropolitan area found that 92 percent of toothpastes for children contained fluoride, but only 13 out of 37 items from 10 brands listed the amount of fluoride the tube contained.

Fluoride toothpaste is a controlled cosmetic under the Cosmetics Act B.E. 2535, which prescribes that the amount added to toothpaste shall not exceed 0.11 percent or 1,100 PPM, as children aged below five swallow one-third of the toothpaste on their toothbrush unintentionally. Another means of fluoride over consumption is artificial flavoring, for example, orange and strawberry, bubble gum, as some children swallow it.

The ASEAN Cosmetic Directive: ACD aims to conduct a standard among ASEAN members. Therefore the Cosmetic Act B.E. 2535 is amended in conformity with the ACD to prevent a trade barrier against Thai products. It is only a requirement however that the ingredients be listed, while indicating the amount of such ingredients is not compulsory. Thus, some toothpaste brands for children don’t specify the amount of fluoride contained within.