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Author Topic: Detergent in toothpaste?
TB Tabby
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I once read a Bathroom Reader article about the incredients in the average brand of toothpaste. Among them, it mentioned that detergent is added to create the foam and suds! I'll quote best as I can from memory:

quote:
What would toothpaste be without foam and suds? The answer is, it would be perfectly fine--but the public demands foam and suds.
It goes on to say that sweeteners like wintergreen are added to hide the horrible detergent taste. But I couldn't find anything like that in the Wiki article, though. Is it true? Was it ever true?

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zerocool
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I dont know about this particular case, but a lot of things have additives so that they behave as consumers expect them too, without any change in performance. One I can think of is liquid dish or laundry detergent. They are a lot thicker (more viscous) than they need to be, because people perceive that to make it better at cleaning.
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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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So what if there is? It's tested and found harmless, so I can live with that.

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/Troberg

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Isn't at least part of the "foam and suds" just whipped saliva mixed with the paste? I get some of it even if I brush my teeth without toothpaste.
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glass papaya
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Yes, there is a little detergent in toothpaste. Which is fine, unless you have a kid like I do who has skin allergies to detergents. He has to brush with baking soda, then brush with a flouride rinse.

His lips and the skin around his mouth looked terrible for years until we figured out it was the toothpaste! [Eek!]

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Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
Isn't at least part of the "foam and suds" just whipped saliva mixed with the paste?

Yeesh, that was a particularly nasty line to read in active topics! [lol]

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DaGuyWitBluGlasses
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Either Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Or Sodium Dodecyl(Lauryl) Sulphate is what creates the foam.

(Also found in Shampoo, and yes laundry detergent)

IF it didn't have a detergents in it, it wouldn't clean your teeth.

Although sodium Laureth Sulfate itself isn't all that effective in cleaning things, for shampoo and laundry detergent it helps make sure the soap gets everywhere, but for teeth it's unneccessary as its the brush that is supposed to get the soap everywhere.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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My toothpaste (Colgate Total Clean Mint Paste, if you're interested) contains:

Water, hydrated silica, glycerin, sorbitol, poly methyl vinyl ether/maleic anhydride copolymer, sodium lauryl suflate, cellulose gum, flavor, sodium hydroxide, propylene glycol, carrageenan, sodium saccharin, titanium dioxide.

I don't think any of those are "detergents" as such, but the copolymer is a bit of an oddity. I prefer my toothpaste not stick.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
My toothpaste (Colgate Total Clean Mint Paste, if you're interested) contains:

Water, hydrated silica, glycerin, sorbitol, poly methyl vinyl ether/maleic anhydride copolymer, sodium lauryl suflate, cellulose gum, flavor, sodium hydroxide, propylene glycol, carrageenan, sodium saccharin, titanium dioxide.

Cool - Irish seaweed [lol]

My toothpaste has algae in it as well, but I think it's the friction agent, not a binding agent like Carageenan...

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
My toothpaste has algae in it as well, but I think it's the friction agent, not a binding agent like Carageenan...
I would expect the titanium dioxide to be the friction/polishing agent.

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/Troberg

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DaGuyWitBluGlasses
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Titanium Dioxide is a pigment. It makes the toothpaste white.
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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by DaGuyWitBluGlasses:
Titanium Dioxide is a pigment. It makes the toothpaste white.

... and it's also the pigment in Titanium White paint, so there's paint in toothpaste as well as detergent!
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Nick Theodorakis
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
My toothpaste (Colgate Total Clean Mint Paste, if you're interested) contains:

... sodium lauryl suflate [sulfate, actually],
...

That's the detergent.

Nick

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Nick Theodorakis
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
quote:
Originally posted by DaGuyWitBluGlasses:
Titanium Dioxide is a pigment. It makes the toothpaste white.

... and it's also the pigment in Titanium White paint, so there's paint in toothpaste as well as detergent!
It'a also the pigment in a lot of candies that have those white sprinkly things on them.

Nick

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Dr. Dave
Frosty the Pitchman


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I just looked up Tom's of Maine. Their basic line is that their products don't contain any of the unnecessary ingredients found in the major brands of toothpase. And guess what? Tom's has sodium lauryl sulfate. They state that the reason is
quote:
In our toothpaste, SLS enables proper dispersion of the ingredients, as well as easy rinsing.
Oh, and in the "what are the risks?" section, they link to the "Urban Legends" website, www.snopes.com (It is discussed vis-a-vis shampoo)
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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by glass papaya:
Which is fine, unless you have a kid like I do who has skin allergies to detergents. He has to brush with baking soda, then brush with a flouride rinse.

If he wants a real toothpaste sometime, try Rembrandt's Canker Sore toothpaste. No detergent in that. My nephew who is canker sore prone uses it and likes it a lot.
quote:
Active Ingredients: Fluoride Ion (0.15% from sodium monofluorophosphate wt/vol%)

Inactive Ingredients: Dicalcium Phosphate, Glycerin, Water, Xylitol, Silica, Alumina, Sodium Citrate, Natural Flavors, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Carrageenan, Papain, Citric Acid, Sodium Saccharin

Seaboe

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glass papaya
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by SeaboeMuffinchucker:
quote:
Originally posted by glass papaya:
Which is fine, unless you have a kid like I do who has skin allergies to detergents. He has to brush with baking soda, then brush with a flouride rinse.

If he wants a real toothpaste sometime, try Rembrandt's Canker Sore toothpaste. No detergent in that. My nephew who is canker sore prone uses it and likes it a lot.
quote:
Active Ingredients: Fluoride Ion (0.15% from sodium monofluorophosphate wt/vol%)

Inactive Ingredients: Dicalcium Phosphate, Glycerin, Water, Xylitol, Silica, Alumina, Sodium Citrate, Natural Flavors, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Carrageenan, Papain, Citric Acid, Sodium Saccharin

Seaboe

Thanks, Seaboe. I'll have to look for that.

I wonder why the dentist didn't recommend that? [Confused]

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Is it just me or is using the words "Canker Sore" in your product name a bad marketing ploy? Even "Anti-Canker Sore" would be better...
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Finite Fourier Alchemy
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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
My toothpaste (Colgate Total Clean Mint Paste, if you're interested) contains:

Water, hydrated silica, glycerin, sorbitol, poly methyl vinyl ether/maleic anhydride copolymer, sodium lauryl suflate, cellulose gum, flavor, sodium hydroxide, propylene glycol, carrageenan, sodium saccharin, titanium dioxide.

I don't think any of those are "detergents" as such, but the copolymer is a bit of an oddity. I prefer my toothpaste not stick.

Methylvinylether/maleic anhydride copolymer (MMA) is described as a "soil releasing agent" and binds really well to proteins. It's used along with a detergent so that the proteins which are removed from your teeth remain suspended in the toothpaste.

Depending on what definition you use, about half of those chemicals are detergents.

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
Is it just me or is using the words "Canker Sore" in your product name a bad marketing ploy? Even "Anti-Canker Sore" would be better...

You'd think so, wouldn't you? But Rembrandt's seems to do just fine, according to its users.

Seaboe

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El Camino
We Three Blings


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At least in shampoo and stuff, sodium lauryl sulfate isn't just something that makes it suds nicely, it's the soap. It's what makes your hair clean.

Historically, soap was produced by lysis of animal fats (triglycerides) to produce single long carbon chains with a carboxylate ion at the end. The long nonpolar carbon chain allows it to dissolve oils, while the polar carboxyllic acid at the end allows it to be soluble in water.

This is exactly how sodium lauryl sulfate is structured:
 -
The nonpolar carbon chain allows it to dissolve oils, and the polar group on the left allows it to dissolve in water and be washed away. This is how it makes you "clean."

I'm assuming this is also its function in toothpaste.


And as to the "Rembrandt's Canker Sore toothpaste," it does contain cocamidopropyl betaine, which might irritate the kid's skin as well. I'd get it checked out with your dentist or doctor before you try it.

 -

Although it may be milder than others, it still may trigger a reaction, especially in someone who is allergic.

ETA: It appears that the link of cocamidopropyl betaine to allergic reactions is somewhat convoluted. The problem seems to be commercial byproducts of the production of cocamidopropyl betaine, not the chemical itself. However, since the toothpaste probably uses it in an unpurified, commercially derived form, I'd be wary if I were you. Here is a paper on the subject.

It has some interesting things to say:
quote:
For this purpose, we used a pure amidoamine, and our results led us to conclude that allergic reactions to CAPB [cocamidopropyl betaine] are to be attributed to both DMAPA and amidoamine, present in varying quantities in commercial CAPB.
quote:
In any case, bearing in mind the points made above, we do not think it is useful to continue testing CAPB, which when purified possesses no sensitizing potential, as borne out by simple structural analysis (19) and verified in studies in vivo (9). We therefore suggest that testing be focused on CAPB impurities, in other words DMAPA and amidoamine, preferably in the presence of skin-penetration enhancers.
So, while it may be a solution, I'd get it checked out first.
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glass papaya
Jingle Bell Hock


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Thank you for the link, El Camino. After reading it, I think we will stick with what we're doing now. After all, toothpaste is pretty intensive contact for several minutes two or three times a day. That is what caused the problem in the first place. [Wink]
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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by El Camino:
the polar group on the left allows it to dissolve in water and be washed away...

Polar group on the right, you mean...?

Other than that, thanks for the information. I'm not much of a chemist, but this is interesting.

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