Article edited for scientific accuracy by Illuminate Labs Blog Editor Taylor Graber MD
There’s an obsession with calorie counting in much of American culture, and this even extends to toothpaste. There are a lot of questions on forums like Quora and Reddit about whether there are calories in toothpaste so we want to answer this question with something better than “it depends”.
Most of the confusion stems from the fact that toothpastes aren’t required to publish a Supplement Facts or Nutrition Facts label with calories included, like consumers are used to seeing on many other products, because toothpaste isn’t technically a consumable.
In this article we’ll review a few different types of toothpaste to see if the calorie content differs between types, as well as explain why even if there are calories in your toothpaste you shouldn’t be concerned.
Popular Brands Less Likely to Contain Calories
Most popular brands of toothpaste are manufactured by large consumer products companies like Procter & Gamble, and are less likely to contain calories because they tend to be manufactured using more industrial ingredients, which are less likely to be food-based.
As an example, the above Drug Facts label from a popular Crest toothpaste only has one ingredient with a minute amount of calories: sorbitol.
Sorbitol is a sweetener which only contains around 3 calories per gram, and there’s almost certainly less than a gram of sorbitol in a toothpaste.
All of the other ingredients are sweeteners, emulsifiers or flavoring agents with no calories at all, including the active ingredient sodium fluoride.
“Natural” Brands More Likely to Contain Calories
Many natural health products use foods or food derivatives as ingredients. This goes for both personal care products like soap and for dental care products like toothpaste. The thought behind these types of formulations is that you shouldn’t expose yourself to chemical compounds that wouldn’t be safe enough to consume.
The above ingredients label is from a Dr. Bronner’s toothpaste. It contains several ingredients with calories.
The first ingredient, glycerin, contains around 4 calories per gram which is a very low amount. Aloe juice, coconut flour and coconut oil also contain calories. The other ingredients contain zero calories.
Does it Really Matter?
In our opinion the answer is no. Whether you consume 10 calories or 1 calorie while brushing your teeth will not make a significant weight loss difference. And since you don’t actually consume most of the toothpaste used, the difference is likely fractions of a calorie between “high calorie” and “low calorie” toothpaste.
We suggest that you use whatever toothpaste is recommended by your dentist and pay no mind to any potential calories.
There are differences in the amount of calories between different categories of toothpaste, but the differences are negligible.
There are much more important factors to weight loss than calorie intake from toothpaste, like fiber intake as we discussed at length in our Plenity review, which analyzes an FDA approved weight loss pill.
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