Toothpaste Color Code: What Does the Color Tab on Toothpaste Mean?

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Last Updated on June 19, 2022

Most of us know the importance of proper dental. That said, it’s no longer surprising that you’ll be confronted with tons of toothpaste options as you look for a better option for taking care of your teeth. 

While shopping for toothpaste, most of us look at the ingredients, expiry date, and even the flavor. However, most of us tend not to care about too much that colored bar located on the bottom of the tubes. What exactly does it mean? What exactly do color tabs on toothpaste indicate?

Common Misconceptions Surrounding these Codes

A number of rumors have gone viral in the internet stating that you should be aware of the color code that is indicated on the tubes when choosing a toothpaste. Certain misconceptions have surfaced regarding this issue. 

Based on the rumors, the ingredients of the toothpaste can be allegedly revealed by the small colored square which is located at the bottom. Here’s how it goes:

  • Blue – when you see this color code, it means that the toothpaste has natural ingredients as well as medicines included in it. This means that there might be some type of pain reliever or whitening agent in the mix.
  • Green – if there’s a green code on a toothpaste’s tube, it means that it is made of all-natural ingredients. Basically, it doesn’t have any synthetic chemicals or medicines added.
  • Red – red, on the other hand, means that the toothpaste is made of natural and synthetic ingredients. 
  • Black – according to the rumors, this one is the worst since it means that the toothpaste is made entirely of chemicals. They even pointed out that you should avoid toothpaste with a black color code as much as possible.

Exposing the Facts

If you used to believe these rumors, then you might be in for a little surprise. Actually, such rumors were proven to be nothing but complete nonsense. In fact, the color codes you see on toothpaste tubes have absolutely nothing to do with the ingredients inside.

Instead, they are used as marks during the manufacturing process. Even Colgate, which is a globally known brand of toothpaste and other dental care products, pointed out that the color codes are called eye marks which help light sensors easily detect the end of the tubes. This allows machines to know where to cut or seal the tubes.


Another thing with this whole color code theory is that it has created a distinction between “chemical” and “natural” ingredients. According to the Scientific American blog, the term “chemical” has been colloquially misrepresented. As such, people normally associate it with being hazardous and harmful to their health. There’s also the issue with using the word “medicine” without even explaining what those medicines actually are.

However, even if the color code theory turns out to be true, it won’t make any sense at all. This is due to the fact that everything is technically a chemical, and that even includes natural ingredients.

How Do You Tell the Ingredients in Your Toothpaste?

Now you know that the color codes in a toothpaste tube don’t really reveal its ingredients. However, how exactly can you tell the ingredients that make up a particular toothpaste product? Well, the information is usually printed on the packaging which you can find either on the box or the tube.

According to the Dental American Association, almost all toothpaste brands have the same basic ingredients including humectants, abrasives, detergents, and flavoring agents. However, they pointed out the importance of looking for a toothpaste that has fluoride as it’s especially important for preventing cavities and tooth decay.

If you’re still worried about the ingredients that make up a toothpaste even after checking its ingredients on the label, then you might want to look for a toothpaste that has ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance. With the ADA seal, you can be at ease knowing that it’s proven safe and effective for your dental and overall health.

What about the Stripes Colors?

If you’re still not convinced that the whole color code theory on toothpaste is nothing but a hoax, then you might ask yourself: “If these codes mean nothing, then why are they in different colors?”.

You might also wonder that if the machines for sealing and cutting the tubes only use the stripe as an indicator, then why are there four different colors?

The answer is, the choice of color actually varies with each toothpaste brand and manufacturer. There are tons of companies that make toothpaste out there, and each of them has a different budget and preference when it comes to the shape of the toothpaste tube.

Due to that, some companies end up building their own in-house assembly machines. However, there are those that can’t afford an in-house assembly and opted for buying a machine from various toothpaste machine suppliers instead.

If you’re still doubtful, you can check this page which sells toothpaste machinery. The page contains thousands of different types of machinery which all use the same color codes which can be found on toothpaste tubes.

Instead of focusing on the color tabs on toothpaste tubes which don’t really mean anything for you as a consumer, you should instead check the label and start checking the ingredients there. This way, you’ll be able to determine whether a toothpaste brand you want to purchase is safe and effective or not.


Now you know that the whole color tabs on toothpaste tubes rumor aren’t really true. Therefore, instead of using it as a factor in choosing your toothpaste, check the ingredients directly instead. Make sure you also look for the ADA seal while you’re at it.

What can you say about this weird rumor that’s gone viral on the internet? Did you believe it at one point too? If there are some facts you know which I might have missed, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. I’ll make sure to respond as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading!

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