Prevention of Dental Caries: A Review on the Improvements of Toothpaste Formulations from 1900 to 2023

Patrick Unterbrink, Erik Schulze zur Wiesche, Frederic Meyer, Pascal Fandrich, Bennett T. Amaechi, Joachim Enax

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Modern toothpastes are complex formulations with various ingredients. The aim of this study was to analyze the improvement of toothpaste formulations from 1900 to 2023 focusing on active ingredients with remineralizing, antibacterial, or plaque-removing effects, and to discuss their influence on caries prevention. For this, worldwide patent applications were searched using the international database Espacenet from the European Patent Office. Additionally, toothpaste products were searched using the Mintel product database from 1996 to 2023. The searched ingredients were (in alphabetical order): calcium carbonate, calcium phosphates, hydrated silica, sodium fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, xylitol, and zinc salts as they are known from the scientific literature to be remineralizing or antibacterial/antiplaque agents. It was shown that the number of patent applications containing these ingredients significantly increased since the 1970s. As these ingredients have remineralizing, antibacterial, or plaque-removing effects, they all can contribute to caries prevention. In conclusion, and within the limitations of this approach, this study shows that toothpaste formulations have greatly improved over the past decades by using various active anticaries ingredients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number64
JournalDentistry Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • Espacenet
  • Mintel
  • active ingredient
  • caries
  • dentifrice
  • patent application
  • toothpaste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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