Know About Your Toothpaste

3 min

Toothpaste is a viscous paste available in different forms and flavors in a collapsible tube.

They are composed of dentifrices and frothing agents that help in maintaining the oral hygiene of the individual when used along with a toothbrush.


Toothpaste is a result of evolution from the tooth powder used in ancient times.

Egyptians in 5000 BC used powder from ashes of ox hooves, myrrh, burnt eggshells, and pumice to clean their teeth.

This was improvised by the Greeks and Romans by adding crushed stones and oyster shells to increase the abrasive action of the powder.

A functional and pleasant to taste toothpaste was 1st identified in the 9th century by an Iraqi musician but the composition is still unknown.

Japan in 1769 has the records of the use of toothpaste along with their ancient brushes to clean their teeth. During 1900 a paste made from hydrogen peroxide and baking soda was recommended for use.

Premixed toothpaste was first available in the market during the 19th century but didn’t gain popularity until World War 1 as the prevalence of use to tooth powder was more.

Leonard A Jenkins brought the 1st toothpaste in to the market with disinfection properties on April 1908 called Kolynos – a Greek term (means disease prevention).

The addition of fluoride to toothpaste was approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) after many controversies.

In 1950 Colgate toothpaste was packed and distributed in collapsible tubes made of lead.

The first hydroxyapatite containing toothpaste was invented by a Japanese company in 1980 called Apadent. It was approved as an anti-caries agent by the Japanese ministry of health in 1993.


The color-coding in the crimp of the toothpaste tubes denotes the nature of the composition of the toothpaste.

Red – Natural + chemical

Black – Pure chemical

Blue – Natural + Medicine

Green – Natural



This toothpaste is composed of decreased fluoride content to avoid the risk of increased fluoride consumption due to swallowing.

It has abrasives of a smaller size according to the milk teeth. They are available various flavors to attract children.


The ingredients of this paste are completely natural like herbal extracts, essential oils, tree bark extracts, etc.

Care should be taken to buy only approved and certified products as a variety of these pastes are marketed without proper approval and recognition.


Fluoride has the anti carious property hence they are usually prescribed in individuals with an increased incidence of caries.

The fluoride paste along with other agents helps in the removal of the plaque, tartar, and reduction of the gum diseases.


The paste is used to seal the dentin and its tubules thereby reducing the painful sensation caused by it.

Potassium nitrate is an ingredient that helps in the reduction of painful sensation.


Smokers have thick bands of stains along with the crowns of the teeth.

Paste with abrasives of larger particle size is specially used to remove these stains. Regular use of this paste with vigorous brushing causes the wearing of the enamel surfaces.


Whitening toothpaste is composed of carbamide peroxide from 3% – 40%.

They oxidize the teeth surface and remove the debris. Care must be taken as it might cause gum irritation and gastrointestinal upset when ingested.

Pregnant women must limit the usage of whitening paste.


It is a form of carbon that is treated to make the surface of the particle rough so as to absorb the dirt, debris, and oil. They don’t have anti-caries property.

They might get entrapped in between gums or filling and cause wearing of the enamel.


Toothpaste pregnancy test: Women worldwide use toothpaste to check if they are pregnant or not.

This not clinically approved. Its mechanism is also still unknown.

Toothpaste to treat cold sores: Cold sores are formed due to any underlying Herpes Simplex Virus -1.

When the HSV-1 is triggered it causes a cold tingling sensation along the nerve forming sires. Sodium lauryl sulfate in the toothpaste soothes the blisters and let them dry. It’s also not clinically proved but they are pieces of evidence based on personal experiences.

Toothpaste and acne: the toothpaste dries the surface and reduces redness in acne patients.

They also reduce inflammation, and irritation due to the presence of alcohol, menthol, baking soda, and peroxide. This causes dryness of the skin and unhealthy appearance.

So avoid using toothpaste for acne!

I hope you have had an overview of your day to day toothpaste. Do share with your friends and post comments.


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Dr Arun

Dr. Arun is a practicing dentist with more than 11 years of experience. Loves to blog and in constant search of new knowledge in dentistry and health niche.


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