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What’s in your toothpaste? An ingredient breakdown

March 29, 2021

Over the course of a year, you’ll end up spending over 24 hours brushing your teeth. But in all that time, have you ever thought about what toothpaste is made of? Ancient civilisations learned that a mixture of ashes, burnt eggshells and pumice yielded a powder that can be used to clean teeth. Luckily for us, modern toothpaste does not contain any of these original ingredients, but do you actually know what makes up the concoction that we dab on our toothbrushes and scrub all over our teeth every morning and night? Here’s a look at five typical ingredients and why they are in your toothpaste.


This mineral is key to fighting tooth decay.Fluoride makes the enamel of your teeth harder and more resistant to acid wear. To make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride, check the list of active ingredients for sodium fluoride, sodium monofluorophosphate or stannous fluoride. Only these three forms of fluoride are recognized by the Food and Drug Administration for cavity prevention. And a little fluoride goes a long way. Most toothpastes contain only 0.15% fluoride ion, or 1500 parts per million.


This ingredient keeps toothpaste from drying out, gives it a consistent texture and helps it glide smoothly from the tube. Although it can go by multiple names – glycerol, glycerin or glycerine – it’s all the same molecule. When Glycerol is not used in toothpaste, it can also be added to processed foods such as yogurt, pre-cooked rice and peanut butter.


Sorbitol plays two parts: Along with glycerol, it helps hold the toothpaste together, and it’s also a sweetening agent. Saccharin is another common sweetener. Unlike sugar, however, sorbitol does not cause cavities. It can also be used as a sugar substitute for people with diabetes.

Calcium Carbonate

This common abrasive helps remove plaque, debris and surface stains. Abrasives, combined with the scrubbing motion of your toothbrush, clean the surface of your tooth. They’re the reason your teeth feel so smooth and clean after brushing. They can also help make your smile whiter!

Besides calcium carbonate, other types of abrasives in toothpaste include dehydrated silica gels, hydrated aluminum oxides, magnesium carbonate, phosphate salts and silicates. These abrasives are rough enough to get the plaque off, but gentle enough to avoid damage to your enamel.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

If you suffer from frequent mouth sores and you suspect your toothpaste might be the cause, look for an SLS-free alternative. This ingredient is a detergent, creating a bubbly foam like in soap and shampoo. Sodium lauryl sulfate can cause mouth irritation and canker sores.Canker sores, also called aphthous ulcers, are small sores that form inside of the mouth.

Choose the best toothpaste for you with Floe

As little as we think about it, our choice of toothpaste is a big part of our oral hygiene routine. And while everyone knows the importance of brushing twice a day, the importance of toothpaste is a little more unclear. Some people use a lot, some people just use water which isn’t advised, and some people make their own teeth-cleaning solutions. The important thing is to clean your teeth properly and know how toothpaste can help your overall oral hygiene.

Here at Floe, we’re guided by dentists. Their recommendations are the backbone of our products. We’re dedicated to making Floe the best way to take care of your mouth every day.We believe the secret to a happy and healthy mouth starts with finding the right toothpaste, and on that note – let us introduce you to Dawn and Dusk.

  • Dawn – Natural Whitening Toothpaste (75ml)

Our morning toothpaste is designed to whiten using natural ingredients that are kind to your enamel.

Dawn is packed with Papain, a powerful whitening enzyme from the papaya fruit. It also boasts stevia instead of artificial sweeteners, fluoride (1490ppm), hydrated silica cleaning boosters, and natural peppermint flavouring to provide an energising start to the day.

The tube is made from sugar cane instead of petroleum. 8% of the world’s oil is burned to make plastic. By contrast, sugarcane removes CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. Unlike oil which is localised, sugarcane is grown all over the world supporting a rural, agrarian economy.

  • Dusk – Anti-Cavity Toothpaste (75ml)

Our natural evening toothpaste. Designed to fight against tooth decay and sensitivity.

To achieve that, it contains a high concentration of nano-Hydroxyapatite (nHA), a naturally occurring mineral and the main ingredient of teeth and bone. nHA is complemented with fluoride at a concentration of 1490ppm. Dusk also contains coconut oil – a natural anti-bacterial.

Infused with soothing lavender, it is designed to protect and remineralise your teeth while you sleep. Like Dawn, the tube is made from sugarcane.

As well as having two special toothpastes for morning and evening brushing, our subscription box comes complete with a Curaprox brush (voted the number one manual toothbrush by dentists), and activated charcoal floss to reach the parts of your mouth brushing can’t. And every three months, we send you a new box, straight to your front door.

Subscribe today for a stronger, long-lasting oral care routine, and claim 50% off your first box by using the code FLOE50 at checkout!

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