Toothpastes which exhibit considerable buffering capacity in vitro influence the pH of dental plaque following a sucrose challenge. The relevance of this in vivo was examined by comparing an active formulation (calcium carbonate) with an alumina-based formulation which had no plaque buffering potential. In crossover trials, plaque grown over 24 h was treated with an in situ formed slurry of the toothpastes. The tootphaste containing calcium carbonate was found to be more effective than the alumina formulation in neutralising plaque acid formed following a 10% sucrose challenge 30min to 10 h following treatment, and over 5 separate 10% sucrose challenges at 40 min-intervals. The results supported the conclusion that cleaning systems in toothpastes such as calcium carbonate have the ability to be incorporated into plaque and can reduce the acidity of plaque following subsequent sucrose challenges by up to 0.7 pH units.

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