21 Fascinating Toothpaste Facts You Wouldn't Want To Miss Out | Kidadl


21 Fascinating Toothpaste Facts You Wouldn't Want To Miss Out

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

A paste used with a toothbrush to maintain dental hygiene with ease is called toothpaste.

Toothpaste is mainly used to prevent tooth decay, remove plaque build-up, and promote healthy gums. It is the active ingredient in the paste that helps prevent dental illness with regular use.

Toothpaste contains around 20-40% water, fluoride, abrasives, flavors, humectants, and detergents where each ingredient has a specific use. There is also specific toothpaste with extra ingredients, like the whitening toothpaste that has hydrogen peroxide to reduce intrinsic staining, and desensitizing toothpaste that has potassium nitrate to reduce tooth sensitivity. Read on to learn some interesting facts about this product.

History Of Toothpaste

The search for a clean mouth dates back to 5000 years, and people used different ingredients to keep their teeth and gums clean and freshen their breath. So, read on to know more about the evolution of toothpaste.

Around 3000-5000 BC, ancient Egyptians used a powder made from pumice, burnt eggshells, ashes, and powdered ox hooves to clean their mouth. Ancient Greeks and Romans preferred oyster shells and crushed bones in their tooth powder.

In around 500 BC, Chinese and Indians used herbal mints, ginseng, and salt in their tooth powder.

In the 1850s, toothpaste included chalks, and a new toothpaste was developed in a jar called Crème Dentifrice. In 1873, Colgate started mass producing toothpaste in jars.

In 1890, Colgate introduced its paste in a tube similar to the toothpaste tubes we use today.

In 1914, fluoride toothpaste was introduced to prevent tooth cavities.

By 1945, soap was removed from toothpaste and replaced with sodium lauryl sulfate to create an emulsified paste.

In the US, the first toothpaste was created by Crest in 1955. Also, the first striped toothpaste was invented in the same year and sold by Unilever under Stripe's brand name.

Modern toothpaste was developed to prevent maximum tooth problems and conditions such as tooth sensitivity, during the second half of the 20th century.

Ingredients And Usefulness

Every time we squeeze a small amount of toothpaste, we wonder how toothpaste helps clean our teeth. Read on to explore all the ingredients inside a toothpaste and how they function.

Fluoride is the active ingredient in all toothpaste. Its main role is to fight cavities, strengthen tooth enamel, and make our teeth resistant to acids produced by plaque bacteria.

Mild abrasives are inactive ingredients that give cleaning power to toothpaste. It removes tartar and plaque from teeth. Common abrasives are hydrated aluminum oxides, dehydrated silica gels, calcium carbonate, and baking soda.

Flavors or artificial sweeteners include sorbitol, peppermint oil, cinnamon, and menthol. It improves the taste of toothpaste and helps freshen breath.

Humectants prevent the toothpaste from drying out. It maintains its paste-like texture and retains water in toothpaste. Examples are glycerol and glycol.

Detergents, also known as surfactants, make the paste foamy when you brush. An example of detergent is sodium lauryl sulfate.

Whiteners, though, don't whiten the teeth but remove surface stains.

Preservatives prevent the growth of microorganisms inside the toothpaste.

A curly woman cares about teeth, holds dental floss, surrounded by toothpaste and toothbrushes representing national toothache day.

Safety And Government Regulations

Toothpaste also undergoes regulation as a cosmetic product. It is the manufacturer's legal responsibility to make a safe product for use and label properly. Hence, let us know some of these safety measures and regulations that provide guidance and recommendations for toothpaste use.

Toothpaste intended for anticaries properties is regulated by FDA as an over-the-counter drug.

The product must have safe ingredients for dental hygiene use and accidental consumption. Also, product safety must adhere to the principles of Quality Assurance and Good Manufacturing Practices.

The manufacturer should test product compatibility with packaging in a tight container to protect the content from extraneous contamination and shelf-life stability.

Labeling of the product must mention 'Indication of Use', 'Warning' if any, 'Date of Manufacture', and 'Date of Expiry'.

The product should have American Dental Association (ADA)'s seal of acceptance and a 'Relative Dentin Abrasivity' (RDA) score of 250 or less.

Final product safety is monitored at the marketplace through consumer comments or complaints. So, companies should include their phone or toll number on products.


Q: What is the most important thing in toothpaste?

A: Fluoride is the most important ingredient in toothpaste.

Q: Who invented toothpaste?

A: William Nebergall invented modern-day toothpaste.

Q: Why is fluoride so important?

A: Fluoride has the properties to prevent tooth decay, so it is added to many toothpaste brands.

Q: Is toothpaste a colloid or not?

A: Toothpaste is a colloid because it is a mixture of powdered solids and liquids.

Q: Does toothpaste expire?

A: Yes, toothpaste expires after two years from the manufacturing date on the package, unless mentioned otherwise.

Q: What was toothpaste first made of?

A: Ancient toothpaste was made from ox grooves ashes, powdered eggshells, and pumice. Greeks and Romans used a powder made from crushed bones and oyster shells in their toothpaste.

Q: How does toothpaste neutralize your mouth?

A: The alkaline present in the toothpaste neutralizes the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth.

Q: What kind of fluid is toothpaste?

A: Toothpaste is a non-Newtonian fluid because its viscosity changes when squeezed out from the tube.

Q: What ingredients does toothpaste have?

A: Toothpaste has active ingredients like fluoride to fight cavities and inactive ingredients like flavors, humectants, and detergents that give taste and texture to toothpaste.

Written By
Sridevi Tolety

<p>With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.</p>

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