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What are types of toothpaste?

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Toothpaste is available in paste or gel. Despite the many types of toothpaste, there are some ingredients common to most varieties. These include:

  • Abrasive agents. Scratchy materials, including calcium carbonate and silicates, help remove food, bacteria, and some stains from your teeth.
  • Flavoring. Artificial sweeteners, including saccharin, are often added to toothpaste to make them taste better. While many people equate the flavor of toothpaste with mint, toothpaste is available in a variety of flavors, including cinnamon, lemon-lime, and even bubblegum (for kids -- or kids at heart).
  • Humectants for moisture retention. Paste and gel formulations often contain substances like glycerol to prevent the toothpaste from drying out.
  • Thickeners. Agents that add thickness to the toothpaste, including gums and gooey molecules found in some seaweeds, help achieve and maintain proper toothpaste texture.
  • Detergents. Those suds you see when you brush your teeth are from detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate.

From: Weighing Your Toothpaste Options WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Dental Association: "ADA Seal of Acceptance Program."

American Dental Association: "Keeping Teeth Bright and Healthy."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Oral Health: Brushing and Toothpaste."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Oral Health: Fluoride."

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: "FDA Advises Consumers to Avoid Toothpaste From China Containing Harmful Chemical."

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on October 7, 2019

SOURCES:

American Dental Association: "ADA Seal of Acceptance Program."

American Dental Association: "Keeping Teeth Bright and Healthy."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Oral Health: Brushing and Toothpaste."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Oral Health: Fluoride."

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: "FDA Advises Consumers to Avoid Toothpaste From China Containing Harmful Chemical."

Reviewed by Michael Friedman on October 7, 2019

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