Flavoring agents and sweeteners are added to improve the dentifrice taste. This is a very important ingredient from a marketing standpoint, because consumers can have a strong preference for flavor. Most dentifrices have potent flavoring agents to mask the taste of some other ingredients that may have bitter or metallic tastes. Common flavoring agents and sweeteners include peppermint, saccharin, and xylitol.
Sweeteners used in dentifrices are all non-cariogenic; and thus do not contribute to caries formation. Some dental professionals take special interest in knowing whether an oral care product contains xylitol because there are reports in the literature that it may provide a small anticaries benefit;103 however, xylitol is not approved by the US FDA as a proven anticaries agent. In the US, products utilize the FDA approved drug actives [sodium fluoride, sodium monofluorophosphate or stannous fluoride] to provide anticaries benefits.