Stannous Fluoride vs Sodium Fluoride | What’s The Difference? Explained

Since its advent in the 1940s, the use of fluoride in the maintenance of dental health has been a regular practice. As a result, modern dental hygiene solutions such as toothpaste or mouth rinses are commonly formulated with fluoride. There’s ample scientific evidence that fluoride offers tangible benefits towards the reduction of dental caries. But there is more than one form of fluoride available – so what’s the difference between stannous fluoride vs sodium fluoride?

In this post, we’ll look at how fluoride therapy works and what benefits it has for the health of your teeth. Next, we’ll look at the differences between stannous fluoride and sodium fluoride. Finally, we’ll discuss which one is best to use.

Why Even Use Fluoride?

The term “fluoride” in the context of dental hygiene products refers to compounds that contain Fluorine in an anionic form. Two of these compounds are Sodium Fluoride and Stannous Fluoride.

The simple answer is that there is scientific evidence that fluoride therapy helps fortify teeth and prevent dental caries. It does this by enhancing the mineralization of the tooth enamel that forms the upper layer of your teeth.

You’re probably familiar with the concept of cavities and tooth decay being the result of an erosion of tooth enamel. It’s important, therefore, to keep the enamel strong and prevent oral bacteria from infiltrating it and infecting the sensitive interiors of the teeth.

Tooth enamel is an extremely hard substance that protects the teeth from the mechanical and chemical wear and tear of eating and drinking. Its composition mainly features a form of a mineral called hydroxyapatite. However, when exposed to fluoride, tooth enamel remineralizes with fluorapatite. This mineral is better at resisting dental caries and has bacteriostatic properties.

Stannous Fluoride vs Sodium Fluoride

Both stannous fluoride and sodium fluoride are inorganic compounds. But while sodium fluoride has a chemical formula of NaF, stannous fluoride replaces the sodium ion with one of Tin (Sn) and has a chemical formula of SnF2.

Now, both formulations can strengthen tooth enamel and fight dental caries, but stannous fluoride is more capable of resisting bacterial acids. In addition, it has antimicrobial properties. This means it can kill off the bacteria that cause it in the first place.

Also, stannous fluoride reduces teeth hypersensitivity, which is why it’s often prescribed for patients who are sensitive to foods that are hot, cold, sweet, or acidic.


The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes the benefits of stannous fluoride as an effective ingredient in toothpaste. Its properties make it superior to sodium fluoride, and it is safe to use. However, your individual requirements may vary. The best option to determine which toothpaste is best for you is to speak to a qualified dental professional.

Luxe Dental Arts is a premier dental facility in Sugar Land, TX, specializing in high-quality dentistry with a gentle touch. We use advanced, modern techniques to give you the best possible treatment. Give the best dentist in Sugar Land a call at (281) 969-7456, and we’ll be happy to help get you a smile you’ll love to show off!



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