Highly Acidic pH Values of Carbonated Sweet Drinks, Fruit Juices, Mineral Waters and Unregulated Fluoride Levels in Oral Care Products and Drinks in India: A Public Health Concern

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Perspectives in Public Health

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Purpose: The objective of this study was to quantify and assess the concentrations of fluoride in commonly used oral care products, fruit juices, bottled waters, soft drinks, favoured bottled milk and milkshakes and to determine the pH of carbonated sweet drinks and drinks marketed in India. Materials and Methods: Various commercial brands of dentifrices, toothpowders, mouthwashes, bottled waters, sweet carbonated drinks and fruit juices were collected randomly from different outlets in Mangalore city, Karnataka, India. A fluoride ion–selective electrode was employed to estimate the fluoride concentrations. A standardised pH meter was used to detect pH in the drinks. Results: The fluoride level in toothpastes ranged between 96 and 1397 mg/l, whereas in toothpowder the fluoride content ranged from 35 to 1380 mg/l and mouthwash fluoride concentrations varied from 6 to 228 mg/l. The fluoride level in bottled waters ranged between 0.10 and 0.12 mg/l, and that in fruit juices between 0.09 and 0.21 mg/l. Most of the carbonated sweet drinks and fruit juices had highly acidic pH values which ranged between 2.62 and 4.26. Conclusion: Of the wide variety of dentifrices and toothpowders available in India, most brands do not indicate the fluoride levels on their packaging or inserts. Similarly, the unregulated acidic pH values of carbonated sweet drinks are not only potentially contributing to non-carious tooth loss (enamel erosion and dentine erosion), but are also a contributing factor to the weight gain observed in Indian adolescents.


Fluoride; Acidic pH of carbonated drinks; Fruit juices; Dentifrices; Toothpowders; Mouthwashes; Fluoride ion–selective electrode


Dental Public Health and Education



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