Anatomy of Toothpaste Formulas

May 1, 2012 | Contact Author | By: Luigi Rigano, PhD, Institute of Skin and Product Evaluation (ISPE)
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Title: Anatomy of Toothpaste Formulas
rinse-offx vehiclex abrasivesx sensorial propertiesx thickenersx foamersx
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Keywords: rinse-off | vehicle | abrasives | sensorial properties | thickeners | foamers

Abstract: If consumers think that brushing their teeth with toothpaste is a simple hygiene procedure, they are mistaken. Mouth care is a complex strategy and modern cosmetics do much more than simply eliminate microbes.

Market Data

  • In oral care, health concerns are the number one driver of sales.
  • Consumers are also looking to whiten teeth and freshen breath.
  • Products that provide multiple benefits are proving to be the most attractive.
  • Marketers have had success with "product suites," i.e., groupings of products presented as a complete oral care package.
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If consumers think that brushing their teeth with toothpaste is a simple hygiene procedure, they are mistaken. Mouth care is a complex strategy and modern cosmetics do much more than simply eliminate microbes. The oral cavity is a special environment, assembling entities including: living tissues, i.e., the gums, tongue and oral cavity mucosa; saliva, an ionic wetting fluid with plenty of enzymes; solid mineral/organic solid structures, i.e. teeth; nerve endings; bacteria and mold colonies that gather and form plaque; a two-way moving gas phase—the breath; regular supplies of nutrients via food and beverages; the arrival of other bacterial species from the environment and close human contacts; and subsequent temperature fluctuations. Bearing all these factors in mind, this article looks at one of the most common cosmetic products aimed to insure the adequate care of this intriguing body part.

Overall, oral health is improving worldwide. Nutritionists attribute this trend to the growing refinement of diets including less sugar, while dentists relate this improvement to advances in the quality and quantity of oral health services. Health authorities find that water fluorination has supported oral health improvement and toothpaste producers say the use of technically advanced toothpastes and their active ingredients are the reason. Regardless, the benefits of modern toothpastes are indeed multiple. Not only do they support oral hygiene, they also strengthen tooth structure, improve the functioning and physiology of gums, encourage consumers to maintain hygienic practices, decrease tooth sensitivity, improve the appearance of teeth, and provide a fresh breath. With so many variables in one product, how can the cosmetic chemist incorporate multiple ingredients into a stable, efficient formula? To answer this question it is important to know the goals of a particular formula and build it from the ground up, starting with the physical form.

Physical Forms

First, consider the most common physical toothpaste form, which the name itself suggests—paste. There are alternatives to this standard besides those having colored stripes or suspended microspheres, but paste is the most common. Pastes are generally profiled as soft, smooth, thick mixtures, although one could debate about up until what viscosity level a paste is a paste. In the current market there are semi-fluid, easy flowing pastes and viscous gels that can even be dispersed in water to prepare ad hoc mouthwashes.

Excerpt Only This is a shortened version or summary of the article you requested. To view the complete article, please log in or create an account. Registration is Free!

This is an excerpt of an article from GCI Magazine. The full version can be found here.

 

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Biography: Luigi Rigano, PhD, Studio Rigano Industrial Consulting Laboratories

Luigi Rigano, PhD, is a consultant for the cosmetics industry, co-director of the Institute of Skin and Product Evaluation (ISPE), and head of Studio Rigano Industrial Consulting Laboratories, a laboratory he founded in 1986. He spent more than 15 years in R&D, production and technical positions at Unilever, Intercos, Givaudan and Schering-Plough Corp., and is an active member of the International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) and of the register of chemists in the Lombardia region of Italy. Rigano serves as a consultant at the Milan Court and has authored more than 80 scientific articles on cosmetics, aesthetics and dermatology.

Formula 1. General toothpaste formula

Formula 1. General toothpaste formula

 Water (aqua)  qs to 100.0% w/w
Hydrotrope (glycerin, sorbitol, xylitol, etc.)  20.0–40.0
Polymer thickener (e.g., carboxymethyl cellulose)  1.0–2.0
Mineral thickener (e.g., silica)  5.0–20.0
 Mineral abrasive  15.0–50.0
 Surfactant  1.0–2.0
 Sweetener  0.1–0.5
 Preservant  0.0–1.0
 Flavor  1.0–2.0
 Color (including titanium dioxide)  0.0–1.0
 Functional additives (fluorides, antibacterial agents, anti-tartar agents, desensitizers, astringents, enzymes, oxidant agents, etc.)  0.0–4.0

 

 

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