Every morning after waking up the first thing we do is brush our teeth. We all use toothpaste but if you have ever looked at the ingredient list of your toothpaste, you might get confused. This Blog is just insight into the function of each ingredient. Anticaries agent (Fluoride) Fluoride strengthens the teeth, making them less susceptible to caries and cavities. E.g. Sodium monofluorophosphate(MFP), sodium fluoride(NaF) and stannous Fluoride (SnF2). Surfactants They provide foam during brushing which enables the toothpaste to disperse in the oral cavity. Also have detergent action which penetrates and dissolves plaque. These loosens any sticky food particles that are attached to teeth and gives a feeling of cleanness. Eg. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), cocamido propyl betaine and sodium methyl cocoyl taurate(adinol). Thickening Agents Also known as binders, they are added to achieve the desired paste consistency. They can prevent the toothpaste from drying out by binding water. Eg. Mineral colloids, natural gums (eg. Xanthum gum), seaweed colloids (eg. Carrageenan). Abrasive agents These physically remove stains on the surfaces of teeth without scratching the teeth. Eg. Calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate salts, alumina, silica and magnesium carbonate. Humectants These help to retain water and prevent subsequent hardening of the paste in the tube or when it is exposed to air. Eg. Glycerol and sorbitol Flavours They get rid of the unpleasant smell and taste of the raw materials and give a cold and refreshing taste. Solvents Water is included as a solvent or carrier for other ingredients of the tooth paste. Buffers These are added to stop the toothpaste from being acidic. Eg. Trisodium phosphate, sodium citrate, sodium hydroxide and pyrophosphates. Desensitizing agents These agents decrease sensitivity of a patient to hot and cold things. Eg. Potassium nitrate, arginine, calcium carbonate, strontium chloride, stannous fluoride. Teeth whitening agents Hydrogen peroxide is added to toothpaste with the aim to lighten the colour of teeth. Antibacterial Agents Triclosan is added to toothpaste to provide antibacterial effect.

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