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.
HumectantsSorbitol, glycerinProvide flowability
Prevent dehydration
Prevent microbial growth
SolventsWaterProvide flowability
Solvate polar ingredients
Hydrate binders
AbrasivesHydrated silica, alumina, calcium carbonateRemove stains
Increase viscosity
SurfactantsSodium lauryl sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine, poloxamerCreate foam
Emulsify flavors
BuffersTrisodium phosphate, sodium hydroxide, sodium citrateMaintain pH to maximize stability and maintain efficacy.
BindersXanthan gum, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) carbomers, carrageenanProvide structure and thickening.
Flavors and sweetenersMenthol, peppermint, spearmint, green tea, sodium saccharinMask taste of unpleasant ingredients.
Provide consumer acceptability.
Colors and visualsTitanium dioxide, dyes, pigments, micaEnhance esthetics.