The Recipe for Toothpaste

Published on May 29th, 2017

If you’re keeping up on your oral health like you should be, then you’re putting toothpaste into your mouth at least twice per day. For something you come into contact with so often, do you actually know what it is? Have you ever wondered what makes toothpaste clean your teeth, or taste so minty, or feel the way it feels? Well here’s your chance to find out! Most toothpastes have common ingredients. Of course, each varies slightly, but the following five ingredients can be found in just about every toothpaste on the market today:

  1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate—This ingredient is what is called a detergent. If this isn’t in your toothpaste, then a close alternative probably is. Detergents in your toothpaste are what cause the bubbly foaming effect when you start to brush. They are the same ingredients in things like soap and shampoo that cause foam.
  2. Fluoride—Fluoride is a common ingredient in toothpaste that helps fight cavities. Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel on your teeth and helps decrease the damage done by acids and sugars. Fluoride is easily one of the most important components of toothpaste.
  3. Glycerol—This is what keeps your toothpaste from drying out. Glycol and sorbitol are two examples of ingredients that have this same effect. These ingredients are called humectants, and they retain the moisture in the toothpaste so that when you squeeze it out of the tube, you get the consistency that we now commonly associate with toothpaste.
  4. Calcium Carbonate—Abrasives are those ingredients which help remove plaque, debris, and stains from your teeth. Calcium carbonate is one of the most common abrasives found in toothpaste, but other ingredients can do the same job, including silica gels and hydrated aluminum oxides. The point of having abrasives in toothpaste is to scrub the enamel without damaging it.
  5. Saccharin—Both saccharin and sorbitol are sweetening agents which are often added to toothpastes. The flavors you taste in a toothpaste do not occur naturally. They are the product of flavor additives. These ingredients don’t do much to directly help your oral health, but they do make brushing your teeth a lot more enjoyable.

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