Flavored toothpaste is toothpaste with flavoring ingredients added to it, such as mint or cinnamon, for example. The flavoring is added for the sole purpose of making tooth brushing a more pleasant experience, and does not provide any additional benefits such as cleansing or whitening the teeth. Most toothpaste is flavored toothpaste, simply because most people prefer the traditional mint taste after brushing the teeth.
The most common toothpaste ingredients include fluoride, which helps to strengthen the enamel of the teeth; an abrasive ingredient such as hydrated silica, which cleans the teeth and removes surface stains; a surfactant such as ammonium laurel sulfate, which acts as a cleanser for the teeth and creates foam; and frequently tetrasodium pyrophosphate, which helps to prevent tartar from forming on the teeth. These ingredients often have a slightly bitter or unpleasant taste, so flavoring is added to mask the flavor and create flavored toothpaste.
Additional ingredients such as sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, as well as hydrogen peroxide are often used in toothpaste as well. These also act as abrasives, while at the same time helping to kill bacteria in the mouth and whitening the teeth. Finally, triclosan may be added to toothpaste for the purpose of killing germs. These are some of the most common ingredients found in toothpaste; more may be added, so it becomes clear why flavoring is often necessary.
Some form of mint, such as peppermint, wintergreen, or spearmint, is the most common type of flavored toothpaste. Cinnamon toothpaste is often used by people of all ages. Natural toothpastes frequently use ingredients such as eucalyptus, thyme, cloves, or tea tree oil as a flavoring ingredient, though this can take some getting used to. Flavored toothpaste for kids often is available in more unique flavors, such as bubble gum or cotton candy; these toothpastes may contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame to make toothpaste more appealing to kids.
Dentists may also offer flavored toothpaste for children to be used while they are having their teeth professionally cleaned. These come in a number of different fun flavors, such as chocolate, marshmallow, vanilla, fruit flavors, or ice cream, just to name a few. Though it is rare to be able to purchase these at the store, some dentists sell these toothpastes from their offices. While it may seem unnecessary to purchase these flavored toothpastes, kids who enjoy the taste of the toothpaste may be more likely to practice better dental hygiene and brush their teeth more frequently. It is just important to be sure that kids are not swallowing the toothpaste.