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What’s in your Toothpaste?

January 28th, 2018 / By Urban Smiles Victoria

Have you ever wondered what are the ingredients of your toothpaste? You likely check your food ingredients, but not your toothpaste. We seem to rely on brands rather than the ingredients.

Fortunately, you’re in luck!  Today we’ll be covering the main ingredients found in toothpastes and their respective purposes. Toothpastes are composed of several ingredients like fluoride, foaming agents, abrasives, colourants, and many more.

The Canadian Dental Association recommends toothpaste by brands such as Colgate, Crest, and Sensodyne.

Fluoride is the key ingredient of toothpaste. It is found in the ingredient list as Sodium Fluoride, Stannic Fluoride, or Sodium Monofluorophosphate. It can prevent further development of small spot decay and reverse it through the process called remineralization.

Children ages 3-6 years old should brush their teeth at least twice a day with a smear layer of toothpaste containing 1000ppm of fluoride. Adults should brush their teeth at least twice a day with pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing 1350-1500ppm of fluoride.

Abrasives –such as Hydrated Silica, Dicalcium Phosphate Dihydrate, Calcium Carbonate, and Aluminum Hydroxide – are another important ingredient that give the toothpaste its cleaning power. Any toothpaste with two or more abrasives listed should be avoided as it can be too abrasive for the teeth.

Surfactant like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate serves as the foaming agent of toothpaste. Most people like toothpaste that lathers like a soap because it gives them more of a cleaning effect. Organic toothpastes exclude surfactants due to its adverse effects on some people; thus, organic toothpastes aren’t foamy.

Other minor ingredients like binding agents, thickeners, preservatives, sweeteners, colouring agents, and vitamins are also added in toothpaste.

Binding agents like Glycerin, Sorbitol, and Water makes sure the toothpaste remains mixed and not dry.

Thickeners like Cellulose Gums, Xanthan Gum, and Carrageenan create the thick texture of toothpaste.

Preservatives like Methylparaben, Propylparaben, and Sodium Benzoate prevents growth of microorganisms.

Sweeteners like Sorbitol and Sodium Saccharin give the sweet minty taste of toothpastes. But too much sweetener can be counterproductive!

Colouring Agents are also added to toothpastes to achieve that tri-colour pastes or red-coloured toothpaste. You may find it in the ingredient list as Titanium Oxide or codes like CI 733660.

Vitamins like Vitamin B3 and Vitamine E are also added to give your teeth an extra boost.

We know it’s too much to remember all of this when selecting your new toothpaste, but it’s helpful to know what’s going inside your mouth, including toothpaste. At the end of the day, everyone has different preferences… whether you like minty or tasteless toothpastes, it all depends on you!

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