Finally, coloring agents are added to provide dentifrice with pleasing colors. The opacity of a paste dentifrice comes from the addition of titanium dioxide. Dentifrices formulated without titanium dioxide result in the formation of a gel dentifrice, rather than an opaque paste. Mica is used to provide a sparkly appearance in some dentifrices, such as those marketed to children. A summary of dentifrice additives can be found in Table 5.

Table 5. Nontherapeutic Dentifrice Ingredients: Summarized Below are Common Dentifrice Ingredients and Their Functions.
Examples Functions
Humectants Sorbitol, glycerin Provide flowability
Prevent dehydration
Prevent microbial growth
Solvents Water Provide flowability
Solvate polar ingredients
Hydrate binders
Abrasives Hydrated silica, alumina, calcium carbonate Remove stains
Increase viscosity
Surfactants Sodium lauryl sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine, poloxamer Create foam
Emulsify flavors
Buffers Trisodium phosphate, sodium hydroxide, sodium citrate Maintain pH to maximize stability and maintain efficacy.
Binders Xanthan gum, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) carbomers, carrageenan Provide structure and thickening.
Flavors and sweeteners Menthol, peppermint, spearmint, green tea, sodium saccharin Mask taste of unpleasant ingredients.
Provide consumer acceptability.
Colors and visuals Titanium dioxide, dyes, pigments, mica Enhance esthetics.