IFDH 2019 Toothpaste Survey

The IFDH recently fielded the first in a 3-survey series to explore dental hygienists’ knowledge about fluoride dentifrices, including resources used for decision-making when providing recommendations to their patients. Survey results will identify common information sources and knowledge gaps across regions to guide future educational programs.

Results Summary

The survey was sent out to 34 national associations. There were 480 respondents, representing 20 countries. The top 5 countries with respondents were:

  • Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • South Africa

There was good representation across years in practice:

  • 48% of the respondents had a Master’s degree or higher
  • 52% worked in a general private practice setting.

Results show there is an opportunity to provide education on differences among fluorides. 40% of respondents are not making a specific non-prescription fluoride toothpaste recommendation, despite the fact that approximately 80% agree that toothpaste plays an important role in oral health and choosing the right toothpaste is just as important as choosing the right toothbrush.

58% of respondents believe all fluorides provide similar benefits; however, stannous fluoride actually offers many clinically-proven benefits beyond caries protection that other fluorides do not provide, such as improving gingival health, reducing dentinal hypersensitivity, improving breath odor and protecting against erosion.

Top resources cited for making toothpaste recommendations include product samples and trial programs, peer-reviewed journals, professional magazines, pamphlets from manufacturers and information from sales representatives.

Respondents ranked patient disease risk, evidence in literature, and CE programs as the 3 most important factors for making general product recommendations.

We would like to thank the respondents for making the time to complete the survey. The information has been very insightful and will help identify future educational learning opportunities.

Please look out for the next two surveys and help us help the dental hygiene community.

The IFDH thanks Procter & Gamble for supporting this project.

Click here to save the PowerPoint summary with detailed results.

Click here for a PDF summary with detailed results.