In the mid-1950’s stannous fluoride (aka Fluoristan), was first incorporated in toothpaste by the company Procter and Gamble. The idea behind this was caries prevention, and the ADA was excited to provide their seal of approval. However, the trick was to make the stannous fluoride compatible with other ingredients in the toothpaste.
Stannous fluoride reduces tooth decay and at the same time decelerates the break down of tooth enamel; as does sodium fluoride. Stannous fluoride converts the calcium mineral apatite to fluorapatite which makes tooth enamel more resistant to bacteria generated acid attacks. Sodium fluoride and sodium fluorophosphate, on the other hand, become biologically inactive when combined with calcium.Researchers knew it had potential beyond sodium fluoride therefore, they continued to look for solutions for better application.
The main complications with stannous fluoride were the taste and its staining properties. Eventually a formula was produced that allowed stannous fluoride to be used in toothpaste including sodium hexametaphosphate, a extrinsic whitening agent.
Cherise Britt RDH