Part II: Toothpaste Ingredients, Yay or Nay

We previously discussed the first three ingredients found in toothpastes – here are others that you can also find in your toothpastes.

Humectant System

This system is composed of humectant (ingredients that retains moisture) and binding agents (keeps all ingredients mixed). Without humectant and a binding agent, toothpaste would look dry and stirring will be needed to mix all ingredients prior to use. Sorbitol, Glyerin, and Aqua/Water are the most common humectants.


Thickeners create the “thickness” texture of toothpastes. Carrageenan, Cellulose Gums, and Xanthan Gum are the common thickeners added to toothpastes.


Preservatives are added to prevent growth of microorganisms in the toothpaste. Methylparaben, Propylparaben, and Sodium Benzoate are the common preservatives added to toothpastes.

Some people decided to stop using toothpastes and other beauty products with parabens due to studies linking it to cancer. Good thing is, there’s a lot of toothpastes in the market that are Paraben-free already. You just have to read the ingredient list.


Toothpaste tastes different without sweeteners or flavorings. You often will see natural and artificial flavorings like Sodium Saccharin and Sorbitol.

Coloring Agents

Toothpastes comes in different colors all white or tri-color pastes. Titanium Oxide produces white pigment while artificial dyes are used to create blue, green, red and other colors. Artificial dyes are written alpha-numerically at the ingredients list (e.g. CI 73360, CI 74260).


Certain variants of toothpastes include synthetic vitamins in toothpastes. One example is Colgate Triple Action which has Niacinamide (Vit. B3), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vit. E), Pyridoxine HCL (Vit. B6) and many other more.


Some toothpastes, like Aquafresh, contains Calcium Carbonate (chalk) and Bicarbonate (baking soda). These ingredients are just fillers and doesn’t do anything good in your teeth.

The best toothpaste will depend on your own preference. You might be okay with products that contain SLS or you’re very particular not to take any product with SLS. Some people want their toothpastes to be very minty while others prefer tasteless. It all depends on you and your family’s liking.

Choose a toothpaste that best suits your preference (taste and ingredients). On the other hand, the Canadian Dental Association recommends you the use of toothpastes from Colgate, Crest, and Sensodyne. And don’t forget to check the CDA seal before buying any toothpaste.

Equipped with a new understanding of toothpaste ingredients, you can now read and understand the toothpaste label with confidence!

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