Humans have struggled to implement dental care for hundreds of years, via ancient dentistry practices as well as trying to clean teeth with a variety of items. In the past primitive man used foreign objects such as ash, cloth, twigs and quills to keep their teeth clean, but now brushing teeth with toothpaste is the recommended oral hygiene behavior.
Mass produced toothpaste first made it onto the scene courtesy of Crest in 1955. Since then the oral hygiene industry has grown to have annually revenues of over $2 billion dollars and consumers have hundreds of different toothpastes to choose from. Each toothpaste brand is marketed to differentiate itself from the competitive despite most of them having similar ingredients.
Toothpaste has been formulated to help remove the bacteria that causes dental plaque and bad breath. While most consumers know whether or not their toothpaste can fight cavities courtesy of ingredients such as fluoride or xynitol, but there are a myriad of other components that provide toothpaste with flavor, foaming ability and texture and some of them are less than savory.
Although many consumers spend hours pining over nutrition labels to ensure that the food they are buying is a wise choice, barely anyone pays attention to what is exactly inside toothpaste. While many brands have harmless ingredients like cocamidopropyl betaine (foaming agent), glycerin (moisturizing) and calcium carbonate, there are other additives that can cause unfortunate side effects.
Many people look back at the 70s as a time for change in America with women's rights, environmental protection and the advocacy of world peace taking center stage. It is also a time when Red Dye #2 was proclaimed to cause cancer. The dye earned its bad rap courtesy of soviet scientists and as a result it was banned from being used in American manufacturing. Consumers do not have to worry about that color, but FD&C blue dye No.2 (AKA indigotine) may be this decades enemy.