Dig A Little Deeper
A Bright Smile
From Toothpaste and Minerals
Toothpaste cleans your teeth and keeps them healthy.
The cleaning is done with abrasives (from rocks) that
rub the plaque away. Abrasives are minerals like
silica, limestone, aluminum oxide (also used in
sandpaper), and various phosphate minerals.
Fluoride, used to reduce cavities, comes from a
mineral called fluorite. It is sometimes
changed into stannous fluoride (tin fluoride).
Most toothpaste is made white with
titanium dioxide which comes from
minerals called rutile, ilmenite, and
anatase. Titanium dioxide also is used
to make white paint.
The sparkles in some toothpaste
come from mica, a mineral common
in many rocks.
The toothbrush and tube holding
your toothpaste are both made of
plastics that come from petroleum
(petrochemicals) and other minerals.
Math: Survey class on brands used, chart or graph. Health: Discuss dental hygiene& special ingredients. P.E.: Stomp & squirt contest, use toothpaste & butcher paper.Language Arts: Read “Ira Sleeps Over.” Let students bring PJs & toothpaste.
Social Studies: What was used before toothpaste was “invented.”
Science: What minerals are found in toothpaste. Read about orresearch fluorite. Compare fluoride content in various brands. For more information about minerals in society, go to:
Mineral Information Institute, www.mii.org