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Toothpaste Ingredients List: What They All Do

Updated: 5 days ago

List of toothpaste ingredients (active & inactive) alphabetized from A to Z with a concise description of what it does for your teeth, gums, and mouth.


Collection of various toothpastes

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


 

A


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera)

Flavor

Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer

Maintains enamel integrity during whitening

Arginine

pH adjuster

Aqua (Water)

Base component (body, solubility)


 

B


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Bark Extract

Flavor

Benzoic Acid

pH adjuster

Benzyl Alcohol

Preservative

Beta Carotene

Adds color

Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

Preservative

Blue 1

Adds color


 

C


Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea)

Flavor

Carbomer (polyacrylic acid)

Thicken to form gel consistency


Bioadhesive


Drug delivery

Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Whitening Abrasive


White color dye


Helps remineralization


Neutralizes oral acids


Thickener

Calcium Peroxide

Calcium Pyrophosphate

Anti-tartar


Anti-staining

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride

Moisturizing prevents drying out

Caprylyl Glycol

Humectant

Teeth whitening

Carboxymethyl Cellulose

Uniform toothpaste texture


Stabilizer


Thickener


Holds toothpaste together

Carrageenan

Thicken to form gel consistency

Carvone (caraway, spearmint, dill)

Flavor

Cellulose Gum

Thickener and stabilizer

Cetylpyridinium Chloride

Antiseptic (plaque, bacteria, gingivitis)

Charcoal

Whitening abrasive

Chlorhexidine

Antibacterial

Cinnamomum Cassia (Cinnamon)

Flavor

Citric Acid

pH adjuster

Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange Peel)

Flavor

Citrus Limon (Lemon)

Flavor

Surfactant


Wetting


Detergent/Soap


Foaming agent

Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine

Surfactant


Wetting


Detergent/Soap


Foaming agent


(Related to cocamidopropyl betaine)

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut oil)

Flavor


Humectant

Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber)

Flavor

Cyclodextrin

Increase Water Solubility


 

D


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

D&C Red No. 33

Adds color

D&C Yellow No. 10

Adds color

Dicalcium Phosphate Dihydrate

Whitening abrasive


Enhance remineralizing

Diethanolamine

Detergent


Foaming agent

Dimethicone

Silicone moisturizer

Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate

Mild surfactant

Disodium Phosphate

pH adjuster

Disodium Pyrophosphate

Anti-tartar


 

E


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Ethylhexylglycerin

Preservative

Erythritol

Natural Sweetener

Eucalyptus Globulus

Essential Oil


 

F


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

FD & C Blue No. 1

Adds color

FD & C Green No. 3

Adds color

FD & C Red No. 40

Adds color

FD & C Yellow No. 5

Adds color

FD & C Yellow No. 6

Adds color

Flavor

Flavoring


 

G


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen)

Flavor

Gelatin

Thickener

Glycerin

Humectant

Glycyrrhetinic Acid (Enoxolone)

Green 3

Adds color


 

H


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil

Mix ingredients

Whitening Abrasive


Compatible with other ingredients


Thickener

Whitening


Antiseptic

Hydrogenated Coconut Oil

Moisture


Flavor

Hydrolyzed Conchiolin Protein

Hydroxyapatite

Anti-cavity


Anti-sensitivity


 

I


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Illicium Verum (Star Anise)

Flavor


 

J


 

K


 

L


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Lactose Monohydrate

Flavoring/Appearance

Lecithin

Emulsifier

Lauryl Diethylenediaminoglycine HCL

Antimicrobial/Antibacterial


Preservative


Antistatic


Surfactant


 

M


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Mangifera Indica (Mango)

Flavor

Maris Sal (Sea Salt)

Whitening abrasive


Antiseptic

Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree)

Antiseptic

Mentha Arvensis (Wild Mint)

Flavor

Mentha Piperita (Peppermint Oil)

Flavor

Mentha Viridis (Spearmint)

Flavor

Menthol

Flavor

Methylcellulose

Thickener


Stabilizer

Methylisothiazolinone

Preservative

Whitening Abrasive


Shimmering Colorant

Microcrystalline Cellulose

Thickener


Stabilizer

Mineral Oil

Mix ingredients

Monosodium Citrate

pH adjuster


Preservative


 

N


 

O


 

P


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Papain

Non-abrasive Whitening Agent

Paraffinum Liquidum

Mix ingredients

PEG-8

Squeezability

PEG-12

Lubrication


Spreadability

PEG-40 Castor Oil

Water/Oil Solubility (prevents separation)

PEG/PPG-116/66 Copolymer

Enhances whitening


Prevents stains

Pentasodium Triphosphate

Prevents enamel adhesion (plaque, bacteria, stains)

Persea Gratissima (Avocado)

Flavor

Whitening agent

Pimpinella Anisum (Anise)

Flavor

Phenoxyethanol

Preservative

Phosphoric Acid

pH adjuster

Poloxamer 105

Surface Emulsions

Poloxamer 338

Prevents liquid separation

Poloxamer 407

Prevents product separation

Thickener


Bioadhesive


Drug delivery

Polyethylene

Thickener

Polyethylene Glycol

Humectant


Surfactant


Dispersing agent

Polyethylene-Polypropylene Glycol

Humectant

Polysorbate 20

Mix ingredients

Polysorbate 80

Surfactant


Emulsifier

Anti-sensitivity

Potassium Cocoate

Detergent


Surfactant

Potassium Chloride

Anti-sensitivity

Potassium Hydroxide

pH adjuster

Potassium Nitrate

Anti-sensitivity

Potassium Sorbate

Preservative

Propanediol

Sweetener solvent

Propylene Glycol

Prevents liquid separation

PVP

Thickener


 

Q


 

R


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Red 33

Adds color

Red 40

Adds color


 

S


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Silica

Whitening abrasive

Simethicone

Foaming agent

Sodium Acrylates / Methacryloylethyl Phosphate Copolymer

Forms barrier on teeth to prevent stains

Sodium Benzoate

Preservative

Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking soda)

Whitening Abrasive


Thickener


pH Buffering

Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate

Vegetable surfactant

Sodium Citrate

pH adjuster

Sodium Fluoride

Anti-cavity

pH adjuster


Deacidification

Sodium Gluconate

Lathering

Surfactant


Detergent


Foaming

Sodium Lauryl Methylcellulose

Thickener


Stabilizer

Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinat

Detergent (More mild than SLS)

Detergent


Surfactant


Wetting


Foaming

Sodium Monofluorophosphate

Anti-cavity

Sodium Phosphate

pH adjuster

Sodium Saccharin

Sweetness

Sodium Silicate

Whitening Abrasive

Sorbitol

Sweetness


Moisture retention

Stannous Fluoride

Anti-cavity


Anti-sensitivity

Stevia

Natural Sweetener

Sucralose

Sweetness


 

T


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Tetrapotassium Pyrophosphate

Anti-tartar

Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate

Anti-tartar

Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme)

Flavor

Adds white color


Opacifier


Desensitizer + acid resistance when added with calcium carbonate

Remineralization (supplies Ca/P)


Desensitization


Oral buffering

Triclosan

Antibacterial


Antifungal

Trimagnesium Phosphate

Stabilizes TCP


Essential mineral in teeth/bone


Improves periodontal health

Trimethylsiloxysilicate/Dimethiconol Crosspolymer

Helps toothpaste stick to teeth

Trisodium Phosphate

pH adjuster


 

U


 

V


 

W


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Water

Base component (body, solubility)


 

X


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Xanthan Gum

Uniform toothpaste texture


Stabilizer


Thickener


Holds toothpaste together

Xylitol

Sweetener


Mildly anti-cavity


 

Y


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Yellow 5

Adds color

Yellow 6

Adds color

Yellow 10

Adds color


 

Z


Toothpaste Ingredient

Function

Zinc Oxide

Neutralizes bad breath


Anti-bacterial

Zinc Phosphate

Anti-bacterial


Anti-tartar

Zinc Phosphate Tetrahydrate

pH adjuster


Comments


David Chen 200 x 200.jpg

About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

Association Memberships:

Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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