Tin(II) fluoride

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Tin(II) fluoride
Kristallstruktur Zinn(II)-fluorid.png
  Sn2+;   F
IUPAC name
Tin(II) fluoride
Other names
Stannous fluoride
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.029.090 OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
PubChem CID
RTECS number
  • XQ3450000
UN number 3288
  • InChI=1S/2FH.Sn/h2*1H;/q;;+2/p-2
  • F[Sn]F
Molar mass 156.69 g/mol
Appearancecolorless solid
Density 4.57 g/cm3
Melting point 213 °C (415 °F; 486 K)
Boiling point 850 °C (1,560 °F; 1,120 K)
31 g/100 mL (0 °C);
35 g/100 mL (20 °C);
78.5 g/100 mL (106 °C)
Solubility soluble in KOH, KF;
negligible in ethanol, ether, chloroform
Monoclinic, mS48
C2/c, No. 15
A01AA04 ( WHO )
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
NFPA 704.svgHealth 2: Intense or continued but not chronic exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury. E.g. chloroformFlammability 0: Will not burn. E.g. waterInstability 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g. liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no code
Flash point Non-flammable
Safety data sheet (SDS) ICSC 0860
Related compounds
Other anions
Tin(II) chloride,
Tin(II) bromide,
Tin(II) iodide
Other cations
Carbon tetrafluoride,
Silicon tetrafluoride,
Germanium tetrafluoride,
Tin tetrafluoride,
Lead(II) fluoride,
Lead(IV) fluoride
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Tin(II) fluoride, commonly referred to commercially as stannous fluoride [1] [2] (from Latin stannum, 'tin'), is a chemical compound with the formula SnF2. It is a colourless solid used as an ingredient in toothpastes.

Oral health benefits

Stannous fluoride was introduced as an alternative to sodium fluoride for the prevention of cavities (tooth decay). It was introduced for this purpose by Joseph Muhler and William Nebergall. In recognition for their innovation, these two individuals were inducted into the Inventor's Hall of Fame. [1]

The fluoride in stannous fluoride helps to convert the calcium mineral apatite in teeth into fluorapatite, which makes tooth enamel more resistant to bacteria-generated acid attacks. [3] The calcium present in plaque and saliva reacts with fluoride to form calcium fluoride on the tooth surface; over time, this calcium fluoride dissolves to allow calcium and fluoride ions to interact with the tooth and form fluoride-containing apatite within the tooth structure. [4] This chemical reaction inhibits demineralisation and can promote remineralisation of tooth decay. The resulting fluoride-containing apatite is more insoluble, and more resistant to acid and tooth decay. [4]

In addition to fluoride, the stannous ion has benefits for oral health when incorporated in a toothpaste. At similar fluoride concentrations, toothpastes containing stannous fluoride have been shown to be more effective than toothpastes containing sodium fluoride for reducing the incidence of dental caries and dental erosion, [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] as well as reducing gingivitis. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] Some stannous fluoride-containing toothpastes also contain ingredients that allow for better stain removal. [15] [16] Stabilised stannous fluoride formulations allow for greater bioavailability of the stannous and fluoride ion, increasing their oral health benefits. [17] [18] A systematic review revealed stabilised stannous fluoride-containing toothpastes had a positive effect on the reduction of plaque, gingivitis and staining, with a significant reduction in calculus and halitosis (bad breath) compared to other toothpastes. [16] A specific formulation of stabilised stannous fluoride toothpastes has shown superior protection against dental erosion and dentine hypersensitivity compared to other fluoride-containing and fluoride-free toothpastes. [19]

Stannous fluoride was once used under the trade name Fluoristan in the original formulation of the toothpaste brand Crest, though it was later replaced with sodium monofluorophosphate under the trade name Fluoristat. Stabilised stannous fluoride is now the active ingredient in Crest/Oral B Pro-Health brand toothpaste. Although concerns have been previously raised that stannous fluoride may cause tooth staining, this can be avoided by proper brushing and by using a stabilised stannous fluoride toothpaste. [15] [16] Any stannous fluoride staining that occurs due to improper brushing is not permanent, and Crest/Oral B Pro-Health states that its particular formulation is resistant to staining.


SnF2 can be prepared by evaporating a solution of SnO in 40% HF. [20]

SnO + 2 HF → SnF2 + H2O

Aqueous solutions

Readily soluble in water, SnF2 is hydrolysed. At low concentration, it forms species such as SnOH+, Sn(OH)2 and Sn(OH)3. At higher concentrations, predominantly polynuclear species are formed, including Sn2(OH)22+ and Sn3(OH)42+. [21] Aqueous solutions readily oxidise to form insoluble precipitates of SnIV, which are ineffective as a dental prophylactic. [22] Studies of the oxidation using Mössbauer spectroscopy on frozen samples suggests that O2 is the oxidizing species. [23]

Lewis acidity

SnF2 acts as a Lewis acid. For example, it forms a 1:1 complex (CH3)3NSnF2 and 2:1 complex [(CH3)3N]2SnF2 with trimethylamine, [24] and a 1:1 complex with dimethylsulfoxide, (CH3)2SO·SnF2. [25]
In solutions containing the fluoride ion, F, it forms the fluoride complexes SnF3, Sn2F5, and SnF2(OH2). [26] Crystallization from an aqueous solution containing NaF produces compounds containing polynuclear anions, e.g. NaSn2F5 or Na4Sn3F10 depending on the reaction conditions, rather than NaSnF3. [20] The compound NaSnF3, containing the pyramidal SnF3 anion, can be produced from a pyridine–water solution. [27] Other compounds containing the pyramidal SnF3 anion are known, such as Ca(SnF3)2. [28]

Reducing properties

SnF2 is a reducing agent, with a standard reduction potential of Eo (SnIV/ SnII) = +0.15 V. [29] Solutions in HF are readily oxidised by a range of oxidizing agents (O2, SO2 or F2) to form the mixed-valence compound Sn3F8 (containing SnII and SnIV and no Sn–Sn bonds). [20]


The monoclinic form contains tetramers, Sn4F8, where there are two distinct coordination environments for the Sn atoms. In each case, there are three nearest neighbours, with Sn at the apex of a trigonal pyramid, and the lone pair of electrons sterically active. [30] Other forms reported have the GeF2 and paratellurite structures. [30]

Molecular SnF2

In the vapour phase, SnF2 forms monomers, dimers, and trimers. [26] Monomeric SnF2 is a non-linear molecule with an Sn−F bond length of 206 pm. [26] Complexes of SnF2, sometimes called difluorostannylene, with an alkyne and aromatic compounds deposited in an argon matrix at 12 K have been reported. [31] [32]


Stannous fluoride can cause redness and irritation if it is inhaled or comes into contact with the eyes. If ingested, it can cause abdominal pains and shock. [33] Rare but serious allergic reactions are possible; symptoms include itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing. Certain formulations of stannous fluoride in dental products may cause mild tooth discoloration; this is not permanent and can be removed by brushing, or can be prevented by using a stabilised stannous fluoride toothpaste. [15] [16] [34]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mouthwash</span> Liquid rinse for oral hygiene

Mouthwash, mouth rinse, oral rinse, or mouth bath is a liquid which is held in the mouth passively or swirled around the mouth by contraction of the perioral muscles and/or movement of the head, and may be gargled, where the head is tilted back and the liquid bubbled at the back of the mouth.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Toothpaste</span> Substance to clean and maintain teeth

Toothpaste is a paste or gel dentifrice used with a toothbrush to clean and maintain the aesthetics and health of teeth. Toothpaste is used to promote oral hygiene: it is an abrasive that aids in removing dental plaque and food from the teeth, assists in suppressing halitosis, and delivers active ingredients to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease (gingivitis). Owing to differences in composition and fluoride content, not all toothpastes are equally effective in maintaining oral health. The decline of tooth decay during the 20th century has been attributed to the introduction and regular use of fluoride-containing toothpastes worldwide. Large amounts of swallowed toothpaste can be poisonous. Common colors for toothpaste include white and blue.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tooth enamel</span> Major tissue that makes up part of the tooth in humans and many animals

Tooth enamel is one of the four major tissues that make up the tooth in humans and many animals, including some species of fish. It makes up the normally visible part of the tooth, covering the crown. The other major tissues are dentin, cementum, and dental pulp. It is a very hard, white to off-white, highly mineralised substance that acts as a barrier to protect the tooth but can become susceptible to degradation, especially by acids from food and drink. In rare circumstances enamel fails to form, leaving the underlying dentin exposed on the surface.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tooth decay</span> Deformation of teeth due to acids produced by bacteria

Tooth decay, also known as cavities or caries, is the breakdown of teeth due to acids produced by bacteria. The cavities may be a number of different colors from yellow to black. Symptoms may include pain and difficulty with eating. Complications may include inflammation of the tissue around the tooth, tooth loss and infection or abscess formation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Water fluoridation</span> Addition of fluoride to a water supply to reduce tooth decay

Water fluoridation is the controlled adjustment of fluoride to a public water supply solely to reduce tooth decay. Fluoridated water contains fluoride at a level that is effective for preventing cavities; this can occur naturally or by adding fluoride. Fluoridated water operates on tooth surfaces: in the mouth, it creates low levels of fluoride in saliva, which reduces the rate at which tooth enamel demineralizes and increases the rate at which it remineralizes in the early stages of cavities. Typically a fluoridated compound is added to drinking water, a process that in the U.S. costs an average of about $1.26 per person-year. Defluoridation is needed when the naturally occurring fluoride level exceeds recommended limits. In 2011, the World Health Organization suggested a level of fluoride from 0.5 to 1.5 mg/L, depending on climate, local environment, and other sources of fluoride. Bottled water typically has unknown fluoride levels.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sodium triphosphate</span> Chemical compound

Sodium triphosphate (STP), also sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP), or tripolyphosphate (TPP),) is an inorganic compound with formula Na5P3O10. It is the sodium salt of the polyphosphate penta-anion, which is the conjugate base of triphosphoric acid. It is produced on a large scale as a component of many domestic and industrial products, especially detergents. Environmental problems associated with eutrophication are attributed to its widespread use.

Tooth whitening or tooth bleaching is the process of lightening the color of human teeth. Whitening is often desirable when teeth become yellowed over time for a number of reasons, and can be achieved by changing the intrinsic or extrinsic color of the tooth enamel. The chemical degradation of the chromogens within or on the tooth is termed as bleaching.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dental abrasion</span> Medical condition

Abrasion is the non-carious, mechanical wear of tooth from interaction with objects other than tooth-tooth contact. It most commonly affects the premolars and canines, usually along the cervical margins. Based on clinical surveys, studies have shown that abrasion is the most common but not the sole aetiological factor for development of non-carious cervical lesions (NCCL) and is most frequently caused by incorrect toothbrushing technique.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dental erosion</span> Medical condition

Acid erosion is a type of tooth wear. It is defined as the irreversible loss of tooth structure due to chemical dissolution by acids not of bacterial origin. Dental erosion is the most common chronic condition of children ages 5–17, although it is only relatively recently that it has been recognised as a dental health problem. There is generally widespread ignorance of the damaging effects of acid erosion; this is particularly the case with erosion due to consumption of fruit juices because they tend to be considered as healthy. Acid erosion begins initially in the enamel, causing it to become thin, and can progress into dentin, giving the tooth a dull yellow appearance and leading to dentin hypersensitivity.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fluoride therapy</span> Medical use of fluoride

Fluoride therapy is the use of fluoride for medical purposes. Fluoride supplements are recommended to prevent tooth decay in children older than six months in areas where the drinking water is low in fluoride. It is typically used as a liquid, pill, or paste by mouth. Fluoride has also been used to treat a number of bone diseases.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dental fluorosis</span> Medical condition

Dental fluorosis is a common disorder, characterized by hypomineralization of tooth enamel caused by ingestion of excessive fluoride during enamel formation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Early childhood caries</span> Dental disease of young children

Early childhood caries (ECC), formerly known as nursing bottle caries, baby bottle tooth decay, night bottle mouth and night bottle caries, is a disease that affects teeth in children aged between birth and 71 months. ECC is characterized by the presence of 1 or more decayed, missing, or filled tooth surfaces in any primary tooth. ECC has been shown to be a very common, transmissible bacterial infection, usually passed from the primary caregiver to the child. The main bacteria responsible for dental cavities are Streptococcus mutans (S.mutans) and Lactobacillus. There is also evidence that supports that those who are in lower socioeconomic populations are at greater risk of developing ECC.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sensodyne</span> Dental hygiene product for sensitive teeth

Sensodyne is a brand name of toothpaste and mouthwash targeted at people with sensitive teeth. Sensodyne is owned by Haleon and is marketed under the name Shumitect in Japan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tooth brushing</span> Act of scrubbing teeth with a toothbrush

Tooth brushing is the act of scrubbing teeth with a toothbrush equipped with toothpaste. Interdental cleaning can be useful with tooth brushing, and together these two activities are the primary means of cleaning teeth, one of the main aspects of oral hygiene. The recommended amount of time for tooth brushing is two minutes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oral hygiene</span> Cleaning the mouth by brushing the teeth and cleaning in between the teeth

Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping one's oral cavity clean and free of disease and other problems by regular brushing of the teeth and adopting good hygiene habits. It is important that oral hygiene be carried out on a regular basis to enable prevention of dental disease and bad breath. The most common types of dental disease are tooth decay and gum diseases, including gingivitis, and periodontitis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fluoride varnish</span> Highly concentrated form of fluoride

Fluoride varnish is a highly concentrated form of fluoride which is applied to the tooth's surface, by a dentist, dental hygienist or other health care professional, as a type of topical fluoride therapy. It is not a permanent varnish but due to its adherent nature it is able to stay in contact with the tooth surface for several hours. It may be applied to the enamel, dentine or cementum of the tooth and can be used to help prevent decay, remineralise the tooth surface and to treat dentine hypersensitivity. There are more than 30 fluoride-containing varnish products on the market today, and they have varying compositions and delivery systems. These compositional differences lead to widely variable pharmacokinetics, the effects of which remain largely untested clinically.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Remineralisation of teeth</span>

Tooth remineralization is the natural repair process for non-cavitated tooth lesions, in which calcium, phosphate and sometimes fluoride ions are deposited into crystal voids in demineralised enamel. Remineralization can contribute towards restoring strength and function within tooth structure.

Silver diammine fluoride (SDF), also known as silver diamine fluoride in most of the dental literature, is a topical medication used to treat and prevent dental caries and relieve dentinal hypersensitivity. It is a colorless or blue-tinted, odourless liquid composed of silver, ammonium and fluoride ions at a pH of 10.4 or 13. Ammonia compounds reduce the oxidative potential of SDF, increase its stability and helps to maintain a constant concentration over a period of time, rendering it safe for use in the mouth. Silver and fluoride ions possess antimicrobial properties and are used in the remineralization of enamel and dentin on teeth for preventing and arresting dental caries.

Topical fluorides are fluoride-containing drugs indicated in prevention and treatment of dental caries, particularly in children's primary dentitions. The dental-protecting property of topical fluoride can be attributed to multiple mechanisms of action, including the promotion of remineralization of decalcified enamel, the inhibition of the cariogenic microbial metabolism in dental plaque and the increase of tooth resistance to acid dissolution. Topical fluoride is available in a variety of dose forms, for example, toothpaste, mouth rinses, varnish and silver diamine solution. These dosage forms possess different absorption mechanisms and consist of different active ingredients. Common active ingredients include sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride, silver diamine fluoride. These ingredients account for different pharmacokinetic profiles, thereby having varied dosing regimes and therapeutic effects. A minority of individuals may experience certain adverse effects, including dermatological irritation, hypersensitivity reactions, neurotoxicity and dental fluorosis. In severe cases, fluoride overdose may lead to acute toxicity. While topical fluoride is effective in preventing dental caries, it should be used with caution in specific situations to avoid undesired side effects.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Harrison Nebergall</span> American inorganic chemist (1914–1978)

William Harrison Nebergall was an inorganic chemist who synthesized the fluoride compatible polishing agent calcium pyrophosphate. This discovery combined with stannous fluoride led to the development and release of the first fluoride containing toothpaste, Crest, in 1955. In 1960 Crest became the first toothpaste to be endorsed by the American Dental Association as an effective decay-preventing agent. In 1959 he cowrote one of the first widely used textbooks of college chemistry titled General Chemistry, which was published in six editions.


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