Your toothpaste tube has a colour code

Toothpaste ingredients are listed on the packaging, as mandated by regulatory authorities

Coloured bars, known as 'eye marks' or 'colour marks', are used in the manufacturing process for packaging and cutting purposes. They help machines detect where to cut and seal the tubes and have no relation to the product’s ingredients.

Toothpaste ingredients are listed on the packaging, as mandated by regulatory authorities, and consumers should refer to this information for accurate details about the product.

Dr Sachin Deepak Mehta, a Mumbai-based dentist, agrees and says, "Contrary to popular belief, the small squares found at the bottom of toothpaste tubes do not indicate its composition or ingredients."

He also mentions that these squares serve a practical function; they assist light sensors on tube-sealing machines in identifying the tube's end. This ensures precise cutting and sealing of the tubes during manufacturing processes.

Toothpaste typically contains several key ingredients, each serving a specific purpose:

  • Humectants: Prevent the toothpaste from drying out (glycerin, sorbitol).
  • Abrasives: Help remove plaque and stains from teeth (calcium carbonate, silica).
  • Binders: Maintain the consistency of the toothpaste (xanthan gum, carrageenan).
  • Sweeteners: Enhance the flavour without contributing to tooth decay (saccharin, xylitol).
  • Flavouring agents: Provide a pleasant taste (mint, cinnamon).
  • Detergents: Create foam to aid in cleaning (sodium lauryl sulphate).
  • Fluorides: Strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities (sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride).
  • Antibacterial agents: Help control plaque and gum disease (triclosan, zinc citrate).

All these ingredients work together to clean teeth, prevent tooth decay, freshen breath, and maintain overall oral health. Specific formulations may vary depending on the brand and the intended purpose of the toothpaste.

To figure out what ingredients are present in your toothpaste, you can check the ingredient list printed on the packaging. Moreover, the front or sides of the toothpaste packaging often highlight key features such as 'whitening', 'fluoride', 'sensitive', etc. These labels give you clues about specific ingredients or benefits the toothpaste offers.