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Does Toothpaste Have Calories?

Have you ever wondered if the edible gel you put on your toothbrush have any calorie? The short answer is yes!

In fact, most of the toothpaste found in retail shops and online contains a small amount of calorie, at approximately 1 calorie per 100 grams. Given that most of the toothpaste sold comes in a 3 ounce (85 grams) to 6 ounce (170 grams) tube, the average tube contains less than 2 calories. For comparison, a slice of white bread contains about 77 calories.

It is worth noting the calorie you may have gained from the accidental consumption of toothpaste is insignificant given that the recommended daily calorie intake which is 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 for men. This means that you would have to consume over a thousand tubes of toothpaste to meet the recommended calorie intake each day!

Over the years, the question have been asked multiple times over over the internet such as Quora and Reddt. The popularity of the question is due to the fact that most toothpaste sold have a sweet taste. Compounded by the fact that toothpaste manufacturers are not legally required to publish a Supplement Facts to provide the nutritional breakdown of toothpastes, many of us have ended up thinking that toothpaste may contain an unusually large amount of sugar or sugar substitutes.

What Ingredients in a Toothpaste Gives Calorie?

A typical toothpaste contains numerous ingredients that most of us may not have heard off even in our chemistry class. Here are the common ingredients that you will find in a branded toothpaste:

  • Sodium Monofluorophosphate (Flouride)
  • Water
  • Glycerin (Humectants)
  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (Detergents)
  • Carrageenan (Thickening agent)
  • Flavoring agents
  • Triclosan (Antibacterial agent)
  • Hydrated Silica (Abrasives)

The likely cause of toothpaste’s calorie count is glycerin, which is a form of carbohydrate called a sugar alcohol, or polyol. In fact, glycerin contains more calorie per gram than sugar; glycerin contains 4.32 calories per gram while each gram of sugar contains 4 calories. However, glycerin is approximately 60-70% less sweet than sugar. That said, glycerin has been widely used in the food and beverage industry due to its ability to retain moisture and prevent the crystallizations of sugar.

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If glycerin is not present in your toothpaste, it is most likely replaced with other forms of sugar alcohol such as xylitol or sorbitol.

Toothpaste brands that tout the use of natural occurring ingredients may lead to a higher calorie count as they contain substances such as aloe vera juice and coconut oil, all of which contain calories.

That said, given that the calorie-containing ingredients are in a very small amount in each tube of toothpaste, you are unlikely to gain a significant amount of calorie even from the ‘consumption’ of it. Furthermore, given that you will burn approximately 5.7 calories each time you brush your teeth for at least two minutes, chances are you are losing weight each time you brush your teeth.

All Toothpaste Will Not Make You Fat

To conclude, all brands of toothpaste found in the market are unlikely to make you fat, as the gain in calorie is negligible from a dietary perspective. There is also no such thing as a “high calorie” and “low calorie” toothpaste, given that the difference is less than 2 calorie per tube.

Thus, we advise you to use the toothpaste you have been using or were recommended by your local dental clinic and not to spend too much effort looking for a non-fattening toothpaste!

Erinwood Brady

Brady Erinwood is an accomplished dentist operating in New York City. Renowned for his proficient use of state-of-the-art dental technologies, Dr. Erinwood offers both general and cosmetic dental services and is widely lauded for both his dental makeovers as well as his to enhancing the oral health of his community.