In our daily life, we may find out a lot of interesting things everywhere. For instance, some packaging details like the circles on chip bags can be mystifying to average consumers. These small discoveries can sometimes confuse and intrigue us. Fortunately, due to the convenience provided by the Internet, we can have access to all kinds of useful information. However, the abundant information from all over the world may deceive us from time to time.

Have you ever noticed the small colored squares on toothpaste tubes? You may also know the graphic circulating the Internet which claims to explain the hidden meaning behind the colored markings. Admittedly, those color codes are there for a reason, but the reason is much less interesting than the rumors suggest. In this blog, we will delve into the intriguing world of toothpaste packaging and unravel the mystery behind the squares.

The Claim

Several websites and social media posts claim that the squares you see on the bottom of the toothpaste tube shouldn’t be overlooked. They argue that the squares are more than decorations or branding elements. On the contrary, these colored squares hold a purpose beyond aesthetics and are indications of the ingredients of toothpaste. 

According to them, the colored squares on toothpaste tubes serve as a crucial indicator of the composition inside. Each color represents a specific formulation or ingredient, allowing consumers to easily identify different types of toothpaste at a glance:

a) Green: Typically signifies natural or herbal toothpaste variants. These toothpaste often contain botanical extracts like tea tree oil or aloe vera, emphasizing their organic and gentle nature.

b) Blue: Commonly associated with toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth. These variants contain ingredients such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, which help alleviate tooth sensitivity.

c) Red: Represents toothpaste designed for tartar control. These toothpaste contain active ingredients like pyrophosphates or zinc citrate to inhibit the formation of tartar and maintain oral hygiene.

d) White: Symbolizes regular toothpaste or general oral care. These toothpastes focus on basic cleaning and freshening, catering to the daily oral hygiene needs of individuals.

e) Yellow: Often used for whitening toothpaste. These variants contain ingredients like hydrogen peroxide or baking soda, which help remove surface stains and brighten the teeth.

f) Other Colors: Some toothpaste brands may use additional colors to differentiate their products based on specific features or benefits. For example, orange may indicate toothpaste with added fluoride for cavity protection.

Through the colors, the purpose of these colored squares goes beyond aesthetic appeal. They provide a convenient way for consumers to quickly identify and select the toothpaste that suits their specific needs. Instead of reading through a list of ingredients, consumers can rely on these color-coded squares for a hassle-free shopping experience.

Apart from their functional role, the colored squares also contribute to the overall branding and marketing of toothpaste manufacturers. These squares act as recognizable brand identifiers, creating a visual association between the color and the specific toothpaste variant. This helps in brand recognition and consumer loyalty.

The Reality

It seems that the explanations above are quite convincing. The variety of colors causes you to connect the squares with the ingredients and even toothpaste flavors. The truth may be a bit simple and cruel. The so-called toothpaste color-coding system simply doesn’t exist at all!

Those color squares at the top of toothpaste tubes are for the manufacturers, and the color and location can vary. They might be in the center or on the side but always sit over the sealed seam at the end. 

The existence of squares is not the oral care companies’ trick to hide ingredients from consumers. So why are there color squares on toothpaste tubes then? It’s glad to tell you that they are of great importance. The tiny colored squares are called eye marks or color marks. In the manufacturing of the toothpaste tubes, they can tell light sensors where the end of the tube is. Therefore, when the square is recognized, a machine cuts and seals the tube exactly where needed. While it is not as exciting as a secret code, the truth is pretty cool too.

How to Identify the Ingredients

If you would like to learn more about the ingredients in your toothpaste, it’s not as hard as deciphering a mysterious code. Instead, pick up a toothpaste tube and take a moment to observe the packaging for a comprehensive list of ingredients. You can find the ingredients in your toothpaste listed on the outer box or the tube itself.

In addition, the American Dental Association notes that most toothpastes contain the same basic ingredients. The ingredients include abrasives to clean teeth, flavoring agents, humectants to soften toothpaste, and detergents to help the toothpaste foam. Meanwhile, the ADA emphasizes the importance of using a toothpaste that contains fluoride. As we know, fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay and cavities by strengthening tooth enamel.

Despite the valuable information offered, the Internet is highly susceptible to widely spread and fabricated misinformation. One of the hoaxes which has surfaced is about the colorful squares on toothpaste tubes. Compared to the colored squares, dentists can help empower consumers to make informed choices based on specific needs. So, embrace oral hygiene under dental professionals’ guidance and make your smile shine brighter than ever!