Do We Use Fluoride Toothpaste? A Survey in Two European Countries

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Aim: To assess the toothpaste type and fluoride concentration used by Latvian and Lithuanian families with children. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted between December 2018 and May 2020. The sample consisted of 385 families in each country, selected through stratified cluster sampling, with schools as the smallest sampling unit. A validated questionnaire collected demographic information and toothpaste details for all family members. Ethics approval was obtained from the respective ethics committees. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and data visualisation was performed using the R programming language and TidyverseTM package. Results: Questionnaires
were completed by 1,309 families (557 families from Latvia and 752 families from Lithuania), which included 5,436 family members (2,294 from Latvia and 3,142 from Lithuania). Analysis revealed that 814 (15%) of individuals used fluoride-free toothpaste, and 674 (12%) used toothpaste with suboptimal fluoride concentration (<1000ppmF) (343 (15%) in Latvia, 331 (11%) in Lithuania,
p<0.001). Preschool children showed a higher prevalence of use of toothpaste with no or suboptimal fluoride (96 (57%) in Latvia, 92 (47%) in Lithuania, p<0.001), often marketed as "Children's toothpaste”, which was more prevalent in Latvia (n=451; 20%) than in Lithuania (n =232; 7.4%; p<0.001). The study identified 113 different toothpaste brands in Latvia and 116 in Lithuania; 55
(47%) of brands in Lithuania and 46 (41%) in Latvia included at least one fluoride-free toothpaste type, with 37 (32%) in Lithuania and 31 (28%) in Latvia having fluoride-free options. Conclusions: One-third of families in Latvia , a quarter in Lithuania, and half of the preschool children in both countries used no or low fluoride concentration toothpaste. This emphasises the need for targeted oral health education on promoting the use of toothpaste with optimal fluoride concentration among families. By raising awareness about the preventive and therapeutic benefits of appropriate toothpaste use, the incidence of dental caries can be effectively reduced, leading to improved oral health outcomes in these populations.
Period14 Sept 202316 Sept 2023
Event title27th Congress of the European Association of Dental Public Health: Sustainability in Dentistry - a multifaceted approach
Event typeCongress
Conference number27
LocationRiga, LatviaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Fluoride
  • Dental caries
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Toothpaste