Objective: This in situ study compared the effectiveness of two toothpastes containing hydroxyapatite or 500 ppm fluoride in promoting remineralization and inhibiting caries development. Materials and methods: Two enamel blocks (human primary teeth), one sound and one with artificially-produced caries lesion, were exposed to toothpaste containing either 10% hydroxyapatite or 500 ppm F− (amine fluoride) via intra-oral appliance worn by 30 adults in two-arm double blind randomized crossover study lasting 14 days per arm (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03681340). Baseline and post-test mineral loss and lesion depth (LD) were quantified using microradiography. One-sided t-test of one group mean was used for intragroup comparison (baseline vs. post-test), while two-sided t-test of two independent means was used to compare the two toothpaste groups. Results: Pairwise comparison (baseline vs. test) indicated significant (p < 0.0001) remineralization and LD reduction by either toothpaste; however, when compared against each other, there was no statistically significant difference in remineralization or LD reduction between the two toothpastes. No demineralization could be observed in sound enamel blocks exposed to either toothpaste. While F− induced lesion surface lamination, HAP produced a more homogenous lesion remineralization. Conclusions: 10% hydroxyapatite achieved comparable efficacy with 500 ppm F− in remineralizing initial caries and preventing demineralization. Thus the HAP toothpaste is confirmed to be equal to the fluoride toothpaste in this study.
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