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How many times have you brushed your teeth with one of a thousand different brands of toothpaste and never wondered what is in it? Sure, you know that it contains fluoride, but do you know of even one more ingredient? Here are the common ingredients of most basic toothpastes:

A grainy material is needed to provide an abrasive. In most toothpastes it is called a polishing agent, or a cleaning agent. The early formulas from ancient times used such things as ashes, grit from stone pumice, and crushed shells. Modern man uses calcium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels and hydrated aluminium oxides.

The cleaning material is a mild detergent called sodium lauryl sulfate. It loosens and breaks down insoluble substances similar to how dish soap breaks up grease.

Preservatives, binders, and moisturizers keep the whole mixture together. They are a group of ingredients called humectants. Individually they are named: glycerol, propylene glycol, sorbitol, carrageenan, gum arabic, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, magnesium, aluminum silicate, sodium benzoate, methylparaben, ethylparaben.

Sweeteners and flavoring help to make it all palatable so you will not grimace when you use it. Obviously, we don’t put sugar in toothpaste, so sorbitol and saccharin is used instead. Mint is the most popular flavoring.

Those are the main ingredients beside fluoride, which is the most important of them all. We’ll discuss other additives like whiteners and sensitivity blockers in another blog.

If you’re interested in learning more about oral health, call Dr. Abbas Nejad and our helpful team at Abbas Nejad DDS. Phone: 623-872-8686. Make an appointment or come by our office in Phoenix, Arizona.