Toothpaste

Photo with a blurry background and toothpaste from a tube of toothpaste being applied to the bristles of a toothbrush in the foreground
 
Toothpaste from a tube being applied to a toothbrush

Toothpaste is a paste or gel dentifrice used with a toothbrush to clean and maintain the aesthetics and health of teeth. Toothpaste is used to promote oral hygiene: it is an abrasive that aids in removing dental plaque and food from the teeth, assists in suppressing halitosis, and delivers active ingredients (most commonly fluoride) to help prevent tooth decay (dental caries) and gum disease (gingivitis). Salt and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) are among materials that can be substituted for commercial toothpaste. Large amounts of swallowed toothpaste can be toxic.