Chemistry in Striped Toothpaste

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In the Chapter on Acids & Bases, we learned that Magnesium Hydroxide Mg(OH)2, an Basic Oxide is used to make toothpaste. After each meals, there will certainly be a significant amount of food substances that are stuck in-between our teeth. Overnight, bacteria in these food substances will secrete acids that will corrode our teeth and causes tooth decay. Magnesium Hydroxide(an Basic Oxide) has the basic properties and will neutralize the acids between the teeth to form neutral salt and water, which is gentle to our teeth. Simple concepts isn’t it. This post i will talk about something more interesting in ‘Striped Toothpaste’. Q) How do they get the stripes in the toothpaste?

Answer is easy. The manufacturer load toothpaste tubes from the flat end with parallel layers of paste and when you squeeze, the layers pass through the nozzle as stripes. According to Discovery Channel Documentaries, manufacturers used to put red paste (which is the stripe) in first. Then they would add the white paste on top. As you squeezed, the white paste would push through an inner tube, and be joined by the red coming through holes in the tube near the nozzle. How about a little bit more on the brief history about Toothpaste: •1st known tooth powder was used in Egypt around 5000BC and included egg-shells and ox hooves •Early toothpastes had ingredients such as dried animal parts, honey and powedered charcoal •Europeans didn’t use toothpaste until 1800s and it contained chalk and pulverised brick •Dr. Washington Sheffield invented the Toothpaste Tube in 1892 •Striped tootpaste was invented in England nearly 50 years ago
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