A primary patient motivation for oral hygiene is effective cleaning. Dentifrice serves this function by including ingredients such as abrasives, surfactants, and specialized cleaning ingredients such as anticalculus agents. This introductory article aims to introduce professionals, educators, and researchers on the rationale behind the development of an improved cleaning dentifrice formulation, Crest Multicare Advanced Cleaning. This new dentifrice is based upon the application of an improved tartar control/cleaning ingredient that is a polymeric adjunct of a pyrophosphate anion commonly applied in tartar control and stain control whitening dentifrices. The polypyrophosphate anion, also referred to as sodium hexametaphosphate, produces superior activity and substantivity on oral surfaces as compared to both pyrophosphate and some other commonly used dental cleaning ingredients and cleaning/conditioning adjuncts. The increased activity and substantivity translate into significant improvements in the prevention of dental stains and supragingival calculus and in the non-abrasive removal of dental stains. This article describes the structure of polypyrophosphate as compared to the parent pyrophosphate molecule, the rationale for its improved chemistry, and, in particular, its tartar control chemistry. In addition, the fundamental mechanisms of calculus formation and inhibition are reviewed. Lastly, a preliminary clinical study evaluating the improved efficacy of a polypyrophosphate dentifrice is described where the tartar control activity of the polypyrophosphate dentifrice is shown to be superior to that of a clinically established and marketed industry standard pyrophosphate dentifrice.
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