Plaque ‘calcium-fluoride-like’ (CaF2-like) and fluoride deposits held by biological/bacterial calcium fluoride (Ca-F) bonds appear to be the source of cariostatic concentrations of fluoride in plaque fluid. The aim of this study was to quantify the amounts of plaque fluoride held in these reservoirs after a sodium fluoride rinse. 30 and 60 min after a 228 µg/g fluoride rinse, plaque samples were collected from 11 volunteers. Each sample was homogenized, split into 2 aliquots (aliquots 1 and 2), centrifuged, and the recovered plaque fluid combined and analyzed using microelectrodes. The plaque mass from aliquot 1 was retained. The plaque mass from aliquot 2 was extracted several times with a solution having the same fluoride, calcium and pH as the plaque fluid in order to extract the plaque CaF2-like deposits. The total fluoride in both aliquots was then determined. In a second experiment, the extraction completeness was examined by applying the above procedure to in vitro precipitates containing known amounts of CaF2-like deposits. Nearly identical fluoride concentrations were found in both plaque aliquots. The extraction of the CaF2-like precipitates formed in vitro removed more than 80% of these deposits. The results suggest that either CaF2-like deposits were not formed in plaque or, if these deposits had been formed, they were rapidly lost. The inability to form persistent amounts of CaF2-like deposits in plaque may account for the relatively rapid loss of plaque fluid fluoride after the use of conventional fluoride dentifrices or rinses.

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