What Does the Color Stripes on Toothpastes Mean?

Toothpaste is one such products that all of us use on a daily basis. As such, you may have noticed the colored stripes at the tail end of a tube of toothpaste. Have you ever wondered what the colored stripes mean? Do the different colors indicate the flavor, the level of whitening, or the kinds of ingredients contained in the toothpaste?

The Rumors

There have been numerous myths regarding the meaning behind the stripes. The most commonly found colors are blue, black, green and red. Rumor has it that these color serves as codes to indicate the chemical makeup of the toothpaste.

  • Blue stripe indicates that the toothpaste is made with natural ingredients with additive medicines.
  • Green stripe suggest that the toothpaste is made with all natural ingredients.
  • Red stripe meant that the toothpaste contains natural as well as additive or synthetic ingredients.
  • Black stripe indicates that the toothpaste is made with just chemicals and contains zero natural ingredients.

The myth continues by encouraging people to use toothpastes with blue and green marks as they contain natural ingredients that are less harmful to the teeth.

What Do the Stripes Actually Mean?

The truth is that these color stripes have nothing to do with the toothpaste’s formulation. Instead, they are colored markings (also known as eye marks) that are read by a light-beam sensor to instruct a machine whether the end of the tube should be cut, folded, or sealed. Simply put, it marks the end of a toothpaste. are merely marks printed on the toothpaste tubes to simplify the manufacturing process.

Colored stripes on toothpaste | Image credits: Quora

The stripes are colored to stand out from the white packaging so that it is easily readable by the light sensor.

While the color, size, and position of the colored stripes varies according to the brand and manufacturer, they all serve the same purpose and do not relay any differing or additional information to the sensors. In fact, a toothpaste tube isn’t the only place where you will find such colored marks; they can be found in numerous packagings including soups and pasta packets.

As explained, the colored stripes do not indicate the ingredients in a toothpaste, and there isn’t a particular meaning behind each of the color. As far as it goes with the ingredients, most toothpastes have the following ingredients:

  • Humectant: Prevents loss of water and hardening of the toothpaste
  • Abrasives: Remove food debris and helps polish teeth
  • Binding material and thickening agents: Prevents separation and sterilizes toothpastes
  • Sweeteners: Gives a sweet taste to the otherwise bitterness of the toothpastes
  • Flavoring agents: Provides an additional flavor
  • Surfactants: Creates foams emulsify the flavoring agents
  • Fluoride: Prevents cavities and strengthens the enamel

To conclude, the colors are not a matter of concern for consumers. Rather, one should look out for the following things in a toothpaste:

  • Ingredients. Ensure that the type of toothpaste and its corresponding ingredients are appropriate for your daily needs. You may select toothpaste that are for whitening, for sensitive teeth, or for tartar control.
  • ADA seal of acceptance: This is a seal of approval from American Dental Association that’s awarded to a product after it is tested and meets the standards set.
  • Expiry date: An expired toothpaste isn’t the most harmful thing. However, its stated effectiveness may be reduced.

Now that you are aware of the actual use of the color stripes in a toothpaste, you can completely ignore it and go for a toothpaste that actually suit you needs!

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