Glycerin is a transparent, colorless, odorless, viscous liquid known for its moisturizing abilities. The compound is a favorite of food stylists (it is used to make fruit and food look luscious, fresh and shiny in photo and film shoots) and a necessity of parents with constipated children (it is a known laxative). It is also in many toothpastes.
The simple polyol compound is added to toothpaste to extend the shelf life of toothpaste as the additive will prevent it from drying out. Glycerin will also enhance toothpaste flavor and help moisturize a mouth to help ease dry mouth.
Glycerin can be derived from both animal and vegetable sources. Vegetarians and vegans need to be especially cautious choosing the right toothpaste in order to ensure it meets with their dietary regulation.
All toothpastes need some type of abrasive agent in order to help aid in the tooth-cleaning abilities. There are a variety of options including mica or hydrated silica. Another option is calcium carbonate, the main compound in shells (including marine organisms, snails and eggs).
Calcium carbonate is often used in the medical industry as an inexpensive dietary supplement for calcium (essential for bone and tooth health). However, the main role of the ingredient in toothpaste is to provide a little friction to help remove excess dental plaque and food particles stuck in a mouth.
Not all ingredients appear in every toothpaste, allowing individuals to have plenty of purchasing options. Individuals needing further tips for toothpaste selection will be able to get the best advice from their dentist. No dentist? Simply call 1-800-DENTIST to get the name and information on a great dentist in your neighborhood who is up to the challenge of ensuring your dental health.