Unfold the Facts about Toothpaste Color Code

Taking care of your dental hygiene is essential for everyone. One of the crucial steps in starting an oral healthcare routine is to choose the best product. When it comes to choosing the best toothpaste, most people consider factors like ingredients, health benefits, expiration date, and the purpose of the toothpaste.

There are several types of toothpaste in the market, each with a specific purpose, for example, teeth whitening, anticavity, plaque control, and for fresh breath. However, what most people are confused about is the colored bar on the bottom of the toothpaste tube. Some people claim that the colored bar is a mark for the type of ingredients present in the toothpaste.


However, this information has no validation. In reality, these color codes have no significance. The color code marks are usually represented by a green, blue, red, or black rectangle. These marks are merely made during the manufacturing process to make the package readable by the sensor machines.

If you are worried about the type of ingredients present in toothpaste, read the list printed on the back of the toothpaste box. Let’s read the article further to clearly understand the significance of the color code present on the toothpaste box.

What does the color code on toothpaste indicate?

According to a false consumer tip online, the color code on a toothpaste box functions to provide information about the type of ingredients present in the toothpaste. However, this information is incorrect. Let’s find out the significance behind these color codes.

The Hoax

According to the rumor, four principal color codes represent the following –

  • The green code indicated the presence of all-natural ingredients
  • The blue code suggests a combination of natural and medicinal ingredients
  • The red code stated a mixture of natural and chemical components
  • Black code purely signifies a chemical composition

The Facts

In reality, the colored rectangles that appear on the toothpaste tubes have no connection to one another. These marks are considered as the ‘eye marks’ or ‘color marks’ used during the manufacturing process.

The primary purpose of these marks is to represent the position of the packet to be folded, cut, or sealed for the interlocking unit’s stream to function at a good speed. The colors make the package readable by the light beam sensor, which aids in the process of manufacturing the products.

The color varies with each brand and manufacturer. It merely allows the sensor to identify the end of the tube so that the machine can cut and seal them. Additionally, it provides a quality control reference and offers the ease of identifying any defective batch of products.

What does toothpaste contain?

Color codes cannot reveal the ingredients present in toothpaste. If you are curious to know about the elements of toothpaste, read the list printed o the back of the toothpaste box. Additionally, an ADA seal of approval will confirm the quality of the toothpaste.

Most of the toothpaste contains common ingredients like –

  • A humectant which hardens the contents of the toothpaste for example glycerol, xylitol, and sorbitol
  • An abrasive which helps to efficiently remove the food debris and plaque while polishing the teeth, for instance – calcium carbonate and silica (2)
  • A binding material which stabilizes the toothpaste and binds the contents together. For example – carboxymethyl cellulose and xanthan gum
  • A sweetening agent for taste. For example – sodium saccharin
  • Flavoring agents like peppermint, bubblegum, cinnamon, and spearmint
  • A surfactant to produce the foam, example – sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Fluoride to strengthen the enamel and protect the teeth from tooth decay (3)

What are the different types of toothpaste?

In addition to the typical ingredients, several kinds of toothpaste are specially formulated to serve different purposes. Some of them are listed below –

Whitening toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste contains a special ingredient which helps to remove the stains from the tooth surface and improve the shade of the teeth. Usually, the main components include calcium peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The whitening effect takes around two weeks to reflect on the teeth surface. (4)

Toothpaste for sensitive teeth

Sensitive pro-relief toothpaste contains desensitizing agents like potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. These agents act by blocking the dentinal tubules to reduce and eventually eliminate tooth sensitivity.

This toothpaste is the best choice for people experiencing tooth sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages.

Toothpaste for kids

Selecting the right toothpaste for children is essential to take care of their dental health. Often children under the age of three years are recommended to use fluoride-free toothpaste. This prevents the children from fro the harmful health hazards of accidental toothpaste swallowing.

Additionally, excess fluoride can damage the delicate tooth enamel and cause fluorosis in children.

Plaque control toothpaste

Toothpaste which is advertised for plaque control, usually contains zinc citrate or triclosan. These active ingredients efficiently remove the plaque from the teeth and gumline. (5)

Moreover, these toothpaste have shown to improve gum disease, reduce gum bleeding, and tooth decay.

Other types of toothpaste

Different varieties of toothpaste may include –

  • Smokers toothpaste which consists of stronger abrasives to remove the stains caused by smoking
  • Herbal toothpaste does not contain fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate. Instead, it consists of natural ingredients like essential oils, baking soda, aloe vera, and activated charcoal to help in teeth strengthening and whitening.

Take away message

Several online tips may provide false information about consumer products. One of them is about the color code on toothpaste tubes. According to this myth, color codes on the toothpaste indicate the type of ingredient present in it. However, this information is incorrect.


Color codes on the toothpaste tube are merely a manufacturing mark which allows the interlocking unit stream to cut and seal the tubes correctly expertly. Moreover, the dark colors make the product sensitive to light beam sensors and make the manufacturing process smooth and easy.

If you are concerned about the type of ingredients present in toothpaste, you can find the list printed on the back of the toothpaste box. Additionally, an ADA seal of acceptance will confirm the quality of the toothpaste.


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