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Have you ever wondered… Besides fluoride, which is the main ingredient in almost every kind of toothpaste, what else is included in the typical tube of toothpaste?

Abrasives scrub away stains. For this, you need a grainy substance. Early formulas from ancient times used ashes, stone pumice, and crushed shells. In toothpaste today, abrasives are usually called “cleaning agents” or “polishing agents.”

A mild detergent called sodium lauryl sulfate is the cleaning agent used to loosen and break down insoluble substances similar to how dish soap breaks up grease.

Humectants are a bunch of different ingredients that are tasked with keeping the whole mixture together. They are binders preservatives, and moisturizers. They have names like glycerol, propylene glycol, sorbitol, carrageenan, gum arabic, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, magnesium, aluminum silicate, sodium benzoate, methylparaben, ethylparaben, etc.

Flavors and sweeteners are needed to make it all taste good. The sweeteners are usually sorbitol and saccharin. Obviously, no sugar is allowed in toothpaste. The flavors most used are usually some sort of mint.

Other ingredients are added to some toothpastes to address specific needs such as whitening, prevention of tartar, reduction of inflammation of the gums, reducing tooth sensitivity, etc. We’ll cover those in another article.

If you’re interested in learning more about oral health, call Dr. Zack Nimri and our helpful team at Higley Dental Care. Phone: 480-988-7007. Make an appointment or come by our office in Gilbert, Arizona.