Utilization of toothpaste and fluoride content in toothpaste manufactured in Tanzania.
until further notice
SourceActa Odontologica Scandinavica, 66, 5, (2008), pp. 293-299
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Acta Odontologica Scandinavica
SubjectEBP 3: Effective Primary Care and Public Health; EBP 4: Quality of Care; NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health
OBJECTIVE: To determine the use of toothpaste, the reasons behind its irregular use, the cost perceptions, and the fluoride concentrations in locally manufactured toothpaste. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 978 dental patients attending 13 dental clinics for 2 weeks in June 2007 completed a pre-tested questionnaire on toothpaste use. Toothpaste was collected from shops in Dar es Salaam and analyzed at the laboratory of the Dental School in Amsterdam. Logistic regression was applied to determine the relative importance of independent variables on usage and perceptions about the cost of toothpaste. RESULTS: Eighty-six percent of respondents used toothpaste daily. Of the 130 who used toothpaste less than once a day, 57.7% gave financial reasons for their irregular use. Toothpaste was perceived as expensive by 34.8% of respondents. Urban residents were five times more likely than rural residents to use toothpaste. Younger respondents were more likely than older respondents: to perceive toothpaste as important, to brush their teeth, to use toothpaste, and to brush their teeth regularly. All toothpaste manufactured in Tanzania had free fluoride concentrations below 400 ppm. CONCLUSIONS: Most respondents used toothpaste regularly and one-third regarded it as expensive. Toothpaste manufactured in Tanzania had free fluoride concentrations below the optimum levels for dental caries prevention. For a well-functioning Basic Package of Oral Care, the authority responsible for oral health has to take measures aimed at lowering the price of toothpaste, and toothpaste manufacturers have to ensure that their products have the optimal fluoride concentration for dental caries prevention.
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