The wonders of tin’s usage is not known to many as the compound is found within toothpaste and approved by the US Food & Drug Administration with levels up to 0.4% as well as the American Dental Association approving up to 8% of tin fluoride in topical treatments. Oral healthcare is becoming an attractive growth sector for tin in the medium terms and this is resulting in patent activity by major consumer conglomerates such as Procter & Gamble (‘Crest Pro-Health’ and ‘Oral-B Pro-Expert’), Unilever Colgate – Palmolive and Gaba International which use tin salts in their production. This also raises a question of the amount of tin that can be supplied as there is an increase in usage of toothpastes worldwide and furthermore in developing nations.
Tin’s technical name known within the oral hygiene industry is stannous fluoride which provides the benefit of effective protection against plaque and cavities and acts an antimicrobial agent which fights against gum diseases such as gingivitis. Stannous fluoride’s effectiveness results in making tooth enamel stronger and is seen to offer more protection than other fluorides such as sodium fluoride and sodium monofluorophosphate, commonly found in many toothpastes and oral care products. The apparent health benefits suggest the many layers of use that tin provides in day-to-day life where consumer perceptions will move away from what they associate the common element with.