Finally, coloring agents are added to provide dentifrice with pleasing colors. The opacity of a paste dentifrice comes from the addition of titanium dioxide. Dentifrices formulated without titanium dioxide result in the formation of a gel dentifrice, rather than an opaque paste. Mica is used to provide a sparkly appearance in some dentifrices, such as those marketed to children. A summary of dentifrice additives can be found in Table 5.
Table 5. Nontherapeutic Dentifrice Ingredients: Summarized Below are Common Dentifrice Ingredients and Their Functions.
|Humectants||Sorbitol, glycerin||Provide flowability|
Prevent microbial growth
Solvate polar ingredients
|Abrasives||Hydrated silica, alumina, calcium carbonate||Remove stains|
|Surfactants||Sodium lauryl sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine, poloxamer||Create foam|
|Buffers||Trisodium phosphate, sodium hydroxide, sodium citrate||Maintain pH to maximize stability and maintain efficacy.|
|Binders||Xanthan gum, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) carbomers, carrageenan||Provide structure and thickening.|
|Flavors and sweeteners||Menthol, peppermint, spearmint, green tea, sodium saccharin||Mask taste of unpleasant ingredients.|
Provide consumer acceptability.
|Colors and visuals||Titanium dioxide, dyes, pigments, mica||Enhance esthetics.|