Your questions – our answers

Alcohol in medicines for children (using Dentinox® N teething gel as an example)

Dentinox® N teething gel contains a very small quantity of alcohol that occurs through the process of extracting chamomile tincture, a natural active ingredient. When the preparation is applied externally to the child’s warm oral mucous membrane, it may be assumed that the very small (a question of milligrams in each dose) percentage of alcohol in the gel just about completely evaporates with the warm breath without being absorbed by the child’s body. There is absolutely no danger of any adverse effects on the child!

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All about fluoride

Is fluoride poisonous?
That depends entirely on the dose involved. Generally speaking, however, it is possible to say: not in the quantities normally usually contained in a toothpaste.

Does fluoride cause cancer?
No, according to the information presently available, there is currently no indication of that.

Is there any danger of overdosing?
No, the daily intake of fluoride in Germany is very small. As, additionally, fluoride is only absorbed by the body when it is swallowed, toothpaste does not constitute any risk if it is used properly. The only exception in this respect are children with milk teeth. While a child has milk teeth, overdosing can cause dental fluorosis. This means that white/yellowish spots are permanently formed on the tooth enamel of the permanent teeth. For this reason, children should always use a children’s toothpaste that has a fluoride content suitable for children. In cases where children are being given fluoride tablets a fluoride-free toothpaste should be used to prevent overdosing.

What happens when children swallow toothpaste containing fluoride?
A very large dose might cause side effects such as stomach ache. However, for that to happen, a child would have to completely swallow almost 70 grams of the toothpaste. But this is highly unlikely if the toothpaste is handled properly.

How do fluorides work?
Fluorides are deposited in the tooth structure, thus hardening the tooth. The tooth then becomes more resistant to acids and bacteria. In small doses, they additionally promote remineralisation of the tooth.

Form of fluoride intake in babies and toddlers
Fluoride can be ingested by babies and toddlers in two ways. Firstly, through the taking of fluoride tablets or, secondly, through the use of a toothpaste containing fluoride. If you have any doubts, please consult your paediatrician or dentist

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Can I continue giving my child a children’s toothpaste even after the second dentition (from 6 years onwards)?

As soon as the second set of teeth come through, you should give your child a junior toothpaste to clean their teeth. This differs from children’s toothpastes by having a higher fluoride content of between 1,000 and 1,500 ppm fluoride, a more intense taste, and frequently a higher abrasive value (RDA).

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