Oral Care Products: Dentrifice the “Tooth Rub”

Dentifrices also known as tooth rub are agents used along with a toothbrush to clean and polish natural teeth. They are supplied in paste, powder, gel or liquid form. Most of the cleaning is achieved by the mechanical action of the toothbrush, and not by the tooth rub.

Types of Dentifrice

  1. Tooth paste
  2. Tooth powder
  3. Tooth soap
  4. Mouthwash



The most essential dentifrice recommended by dentists is toothpaste. The tooth rub ingredients are made into a paste and packaged in a tube. The main purpose of the paste is to be used in conjunction with a toothbrush to help remove food debris and plaque to prevent dental cavities and gum diseases. Some market accessory functions such as breath freshening and teeth whitening.

Tooth Soap:

We don’t mean regular household soaps those are often loaded with fragrance chemicals that would taste awful. That’s why Tooth Soap was created. It contains NO sweeteners, NO sand (silicates), NO fluoride, NO dyes, NO chemical stabilizers. It is actually available in four forms: Liquid, gel, whip and shreds (shreds are small waxy bits of solid Tooth Soap that dissolve into soap when you start to chew on them gently and start brushing. The ingredients of Tooth Soap are specially formulated soap made from saponified coconut, palm, extra virgin olive oils and therapeutic essential oils to nourish gums. It comes in Peppermint, Cinnamon, Spearmint and Ginger flavour. 

71VcZy2+N-L._SL1500_Tooth Powder:

Tooth powder is an alternative to toothpaste. 5000 BC it was consisting of ash of ox hooves, eggshells and pumice, crushed bones and oyster shells They were reduced to a fine powder after having been previously burnt, and sometimes mixed with honey. It comes in both a fluoride and non-fluoride version. Still available today with bentonite clay, baking soda, calcium powder, cloves powder, cinnamon, mint and essential oils for taste.



Mouth rinse, oral rinse or mouth bath is a liquid which is held in the mouth passively or swilled around the mouth and may be gargled. There are several types of mouthwash which all perform a particular function. Fluoride mouthwashes, Cosmetic mouthwashes, Antiseptic mouthwashes, Natural (herbal)mouthwashes & Magic mouthwash (mouthwash may include the following ingredients: Antibiotics, e.g. tetracycline, Nystatin).

Dental research has recommended that mouthwash should be used as an aid to brushing rather than a replacement, because the sticky resistant nature of plaque prevents it from being actively removed by chemicals alone, and physical detachment of the sticky proteins is required.


Fluoride: is the most popular active ingredient. Source of fluoride are sodium fluoride (most common), stannous fluoride and sodium monofluorophosphate. The fluoride content 1,000 to 1,100 parts per million fluoride or may be often higher 1,450 ppm. Check your toothpaste tube.

Triclosan: also an active ingredient act as an antigingivitis medication (which can be thought of as a topical antimicrobial). Seen in a category of toothpaste.

Abrasives constitute at least 50% of a typical toothpaste. These insoluble particles help remove plaque from the teeth. eg: Hydrated silica is an abrasive agent added to the paste, Mica

Surfactants may act as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants and humectant. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is the foaming agent to provide that soft, smooth foamy feeling.

Flavour – most likely this is an artificial flavour, some sort of science derived ingredient that makes it quite tasty. Various flavours are available.

Sodium Hydroxide – increases the pH levels in your mouth which makes it less acidic and reduces cavity causing bacteria

Propylene Glycol – derivative of natural gas that is actually used in many cosmetic products to keep things moist

Sodium Saccharin – a form of sugar that makes it sweet


1. Children’s toothpaste:

this contains little or no fluoride because of the risk of children ingesting fluoride. Usually flavoured to make tooth brushing appealing to them.



3. Tartar control toothpaste or antibacterial toothpaste:

have certain ingredients pyrusulphate and zinc help prevent the accumulation of tartar.


5. Whitening toothpaste.

Tooth Whitening toothpaste typically contain abrasives that remove surface stains that are caused by drinking coffee, tea, wine or smoking for long periods of time and leave the teeth whiter. It is important to note that tooth whitening toothpastes won’t whiten teeth beyond their natural color, or remove any discoloration due to tooth damage because of the natural underlying yellow dentin. Caution excessive use of whitening toothpaste can damage your tooth enamel over time. 

2. Fluoride toothpaste:

Contain active ingredient fluoride effective in preventing cavities because they help remineralise the enamel that has been demineralised by bacterial activity. We are familiar with this. 


4. Desensitizing toothpaste:

contain substances like potassium nitrite, to help reduce sensitivity. This category of toothpaste for people who have sensitivity to cold, warm substances. They usually are not “foaming” ie have little or no quantity of foaming agents as ingredient because they create a protective layer over the tooth and shouldn’t be washed off quickly.


Herbal and natural toothpastes:

This for #TeamNaturals. Some companies manufacture natural and herbal toothpastes and market them to consumers who wish to avoid the artificial ingredients commonly found in regular toothpastes.

Many herbal toothpastes do not contain fluoride or sodium lauryl sulfate. The ingredients found in natural toothpastes vary widely but often include baking soda, aloe, eucalyptus oil, myrrh, plant extract (strawberry extract), and essential oils. The natural toothpaste will fall into any of the basic categories. So if you have sensitive teeth or want whitening toothpaste, #TeamNatural toothpaste still got you covered.


I went for an outreach in celebration of the Ghana Dental Association 25th anniversary happened (27th June- 3rd July 2016) and the students expressed their concern of parents not allowing them brush day and night because “the toothpaste will finish quickly” and so had to add this, the amount of toothpaste to use according to age.



I hope this big picture is clear enough and you have a better understanding when next you are buying a dentifrice, based on your desire, dental problem, want or dentist recommendation you know which category to go for with confidence.

There is no absolute one size/brand fits all, what is important is use a tooth rub with the correct brushing technique within the right amount of time, with regular visit to dentist at least twice in a year and you are on your way to optimum oral health.

Thanks for reading stay tuned next week for more teethlicious updates. If you found this helpful, feel free to share and leave comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

Till then Stay Gorgeous & Stay Professional.

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