Do you want to start manufacturing toothpaste and want to know the process involved? If YES, here is a detailed toothpaste manufacturing process upgraded. Waking up every morning and doing mundane activities like fixing your bed, having a cold bath, rushing to get breakfast ready, or maybe even skipping breakfast, can be a drag.
But when it gets to the part of brushing your teeth, that is when the day really starts to feel fresh and invigorating, all thanks to that minty, revitalizing feeling you get when brushing your teeth.
According to reports, toothpaste has a history that stretches back nearly 4,000 years. Until the mid-nineteenth century, abrasives used to clean teeth did not resemble modern kinds of toothpaste. People were mainly concerned with cleaning stains from their teeth and used harsh, sometimes toxic ingredients to meet that goal.
Ancient Egyptians used a mixture of green lead, verdigris (the green crust that forms on certain metals like copper or brass when exposed to saltwater or air), and incense. Ground fish bones were used by the early Chinese.
However, things have evolved and improved. Almost all toothpaste today contains the following ingredients: binders, abrasives, sudsers, humectants, flavors (unique additives), sweeteners, fluorides, tooth whiteners, a preservative, and water.
Binders thicken toothpaste and prevent separation of the solid and liquid components, especially during storage. They also affect the speed and volume of foam production, the rate of flavor release and product dispersal, the appearance of the toothpaste ribbon on the toothbrush, and the rinsibility from the toothbrush.
Abrasive scrub the outside of the teeth to remove plaque and loosen particles on teeth. Some abrasives are harsher than others, sometimes resulting in unnecessary damage to the tooth enamel.
The most commonly used abrasives are hydrated silica (softened silica), calcium carbonate (also known as chalk), and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Each abrasive also has slightly different cleaning properties, and a combination of them might be used in the final product.
Sudsers, also known as foaming agents, are surfactants. They are known to lower the surface tension of water so that bubbles are formed. Multiple bubbles together make foam. Sudsers aid in removing particles from teeth. Sudsers are a combination of an organic alcohol or a fatty acid with an alkali metal.
Common sudsers are sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate, sulfolaurate, sodium lauryl sarcosinate, sodium stearyl fumarate, and sodium stearyl lactate. Humectants help to retain water and maintain the paste in toothpaste. Humectants strive to keep the solid and liquid phases of toothpaste together.
They also can add a coolness and/or sweetness to the toothpaste; this makes toothpaste feel pleasant in the mouth when used. Most toothpastes use sorbitol or glycerine as humectants. Propylene glycol can also be used as humectants.
Toothpastes also come with flavors to make them more palatable. Mint is the most common flavor used because it imparts a feeling of freshness. Note that this feeling of freshness is the result of long term conditioning by the toothpaste industry. The American public associates mint with freshness.
Coupled with flavors, toothpastes contain sweeteners to make it pleasant to the palate because of humectants. Note that the most commonly used humectants (sorbitol and glycerine) have a sweetness level of about 60% of table sugar. They need an artificial flavor to make the toothpaste palatable.
Saccharin is the most common sweetener used, though some toothpaste contains ammoniated diglyzzherizins and/or aspartame.
Fluorides are known to reduce decay by increasing the strength of teeth. Sodium fluoride is the most commonly used fluoride. Sodium perborate is used as a tooth whitening ingredient. Most toothpastes tend to have the preservative p-hydrozybenzoate. Water is also used for dilution purposes.
Detailed Manufacturing Process of Toothpaste
Presently, the most common machine to manufacture toothpaste is the vacuum emulsifying machine. It makes paste under negative pressure. However, there are two ways to describe the process. Single-step manufacturing is the most popular way: finishing at a single-step, that is to say, fixature, paste, homogenizing, vacuum.
It has some advantages, including simplifying the process, improving sanitary process and it is the only way for small and medium enterprises to reform their technological process. The most common manufacturing process for toothpaste includes;
- After transporting the raw materials into the factory, the ingredients are both manually and mechanically weighed. Note that this ensures accuracy in the ingredients’ proportions. Then the ingredients are mixed together. Usually, the glycerin-water mixture is done first.
- All the ingredients are mixed together in the mixing vat. The temperature and humidity of vat are watched closely. This is necessary to ensure that the mix comes together correctly. A commonly used vat in the toothpaste industry mixes a batch that is the equivalent of 10,000 four-ounce (118 ml) tubes.
- Before tubes are filled with toothpaste, the tube itself passes under a blower and a vacuum to ensure cleanliness. Dust and particles are blown out in this step. The tube is capped, and the opposite end is opened so the filling machine can load the paste.
- After the ingredients are mixed together, the tubes are filled by the filling machine. To make sure the tube is aligned correctly, an optical device rotates the tube. Then the tube is filled by a descending pump. After it is filled, the end is sealed (or crimped) closed. The tube also gets a code stamped on it indicating where and when it was manufactured.
- After tubes are filled, they are inserted into open paperboard boxes. Some companies do this by hand.
- The boxes are cased and shipped to warehouses and stores.
- Each batch of ingredients is then tested for quality as it is brought into the factory. The testing lab also checks samples of final product.
Toothpastes are indeed a necessity in our everyday lives. Its various benefits are a combination of antimicrobial, tartar control, and teeth whitening. The effectiveness and quality of toothpastes are seen from their different formulations each delivering unique characteristics.
Also, its overall performance in teeth protection and beautification depends on how efficient mixers are in processing and manufacturing the toothpaste.