home / news /
2 December 2015

How is Toothpaste Made?

When opening a tube of toothpaste with a mint and chocolate flavour, we look forward to feeling its sweetness and devoting a couple of minutes of our life to enjoy it. But we well understand that mint and chocolate have in fact very little to do with oral care, that the toothpaste contains something else, we don’t know what but what we badly need twice a day. More than once we have told you in our magazine about the benefits of R.O.C.S. toothpastes and about the oral problems they help to solve. Today, we are going to tell you how toothpaste is made and what are its ingredients. What are we really using to clean our teeth?

We decided that a simpler way to find answers was to ask questions right in the place where toothpaste is manufactured and visited one of the DRC Group’s plants producing all R.O.C.S. toothpastes. There we had a talk with a person who knows everything about toothpaste-making and toothpaste ingredients.


PhD in Technical Sciences, CEO of EVROKOSMED – STUPINO, Head of DRC Group’s Production Unit

The production facility is 100 km from the capital, in the Stupinksy District of the Moscow Oblast. Looking at the plant’s building, one can easily think it is a research institute or a confectionery factory. In other words, you cannot say what it is. It is a small white building, with no chimneys and no noise. There is no smell of sweets, either; standing at the entrance, we enjoy the fresh air of the autumn, the bright blue sky and the trees around us, and share our positive impressions with Alexander Karpov when we see him coming up to us.

— The forest around us is, in fact, the Stupino Technopark, with something like another 20 plants within the area, says Alexander with a bit of irony. – Mainly, these are production facilities of renowned companies such as Mars, Kimberly-Clark, Campina, Kerama Marazzi. A favourable investment climate has attracted many strong manufacturers. Still, according to Alexander, the area remains environmentally friendly.

— For us it is fundamental that production processes do not affect the environment. No air emissions and dust result from our activities. It may seem incredible but the process water we discharge is cleaner than artesian-well water.

The plant’s engineering and construction took 4 years. Today, it is one of the most advanced production facilities in the industry, not only Russia but in the world



Water is important in the manufacturing of oral care products. Some products, for example, mouthwash products, contain up to 85% of water. Toothpaste contains about 15% of water.

The water used in the manufacturing process is taken from our own artesian well approximately two hundred meters deep and conforms to the drinking water standards. But we do not stop at that and use a multi-stage water conditioning and purification system. The water is purified so as to become suitable for the manufacturing of, for example, normal saline.

— Is it really necessary? You do not produce drugs, do you?

— Generally speaking, the directive as per which we manufacture our products applies more to pharmaceutical products rather than the cosmetics industry. Our plant is certified under ISO and GMP by Afnor (France), the leading auditor in Europe and worldwide and, by the way, the main auditor for pharmaceutical production facilities.

Filtration room: water is filtered through a whole labyrinth of intertangled sleeves and ducts



The raw materials store is a spacious area and it is hard to say how large it is because there seems to be no end to the racks. This is the place for storing all ingredients that, after being mixed with the purified water, become toothpaste. Boxes, boxes, boxes… — what is inside?

— Before we came here, we watched a Discovery channel video about manufacturing of toothpastes and saw huge trucks loaded with limestone, quartz and sand that were said to be fully used up. – Do you, indeed, also have sand here in the boxes?

— We use silicon dioxide as an abrasive. It is really delivered in containers and we use about 1 ton of it a day. Our pastes contain an ultra-fine abrasive. Its particles are microscopic and cause no damage to the tooth surface. Abrasives help simply to mechanically clean teeth and are not used only in toothpastes – you can find abrasives in various industries where they are used for cleaning and polishing purposes. Putting aside all health benefits of our toothpastes, we can say that there are two components that clean the teeth – abrasive and bromelain.

It is a proteolytic enzyme that breaks down proteins. Bacteria on our teeth build up the dental plaque and bromelain destroys it by digesting proteins. Besides, it forms on the dental surface, let’s call it, a positive charge to resist malignant bacteria. So, when you clean your teeth with our toothpaste, for a long time after the cleaning you can still feel your teeth to be polished, smooth and clean. – What is bromelain made of?

— It is an extract derived from the stems of pineapples and you can easily guess that we bring it from countries where pineapples are grown. In fact, being in this storage area you can learn geography because we order the components from all over the world. For example, silicon dioxide comes from England and India; flavours are, of course, from France. It turns out that apart from, so to speak, detergents and chemical complex-type mechanism-based components, toothpastes are made with the use of ingredients we come across in our everyday life.

— For different toothpastes we use special components that improve oral hygiene and have preventive and curative effects. For example, components that help us to fight against stomatitis or gingivitis. Here we have bags with licorice root used in the pharmaceutical industry, camomile and lime extracts. There are eucalyptus, cumin seed and clove oils – these are all natural components.

— What do you do with all this then? How many manufacturing stages does the toothpaste undergo, from this raw materials store to the moment it is packed in tubes?

— Basically, only one, the toothpaste-making stage. It is true though that we also add in-house components to certain toothpastes. Let me show you.


There is another building within the plant – the production unit separated from the other sections of the building.

Before we go inside, we put on coats, shoe covers and caps – all like in a movie about a secret lab. Finally, here we are, in the room for the calcium hydroxyapatite synthesis. The term may seem to be frightening, but the process looks rather mysterious. In the corner of a spacious room full of silence and daylight, there is a vat with many tubes.

Calcium hydroxyapatite is the basic mineral found in teeth. Apart from being included in toothpastes as a tooth-strengthening component, it is widely used worldwide also in the pharmaceutical industry and cosmetic medicine. The only problem is that its production is complicated and energy-consuming. We

also use a unique technology providing for lower costs and an extra-high quality at the same time. As it appears, few plants produce their own high-tech ingredients for toothpastes. According to DRC people, today this plant is the only production facility in the industry within the ex-Soviet area, which is developing its own components base.


Unexpectedly, the workshop that is expected to be the most important from the technological point of view appears to be quite ordinary. This is where toothpaste is made and that is all. You can’t even come close or smell it. You can only have fun looking at your distorted reflection on metallic surfaces of vats.

The core of the whole manufacturing process is the toothpaste-making. Most of the space in the workshop is occupied by vats, approximately half a human body high. If you look into a small glass window, you will see an indiscrete mass being regularly mixed. As the process engineers say, the bigger is the vat, the more difficult it is to control the microbiological medium inside it and the more preservatives are needed. That is why here they use only small vats.

The toothpaste-making process is fully automatic: toothpaste is automatically mixed, heated and cooled. No matter how hard we tried, we could not understand which toothpaste was being made in different vats. The vats are tightly closed and sealed and no smell is let out. When the process is over, the finished toothpaste will flow along the pipes to the adjacent room – towards multi-coloured tubes. People working in the workshop say that only a couple of similar machines can be found in Europe and there exist no analogs of systems for working with the formulations used during the process. They have been designed specifically for this type of manufacturing, quite sophisticated in terms of physical and chemical parameters.

The product manufacturing cycle at the DRC plant is 4−5 times longer than, for example, in the manufacturing of the most common toothpastes. This is because the plant’s specialists use special, low-temperature technologies to keep the vegetable raw materials active. We can say that the products manufactured in this workshop are custom-made products released in small quantities and made in special conditions.


Toothpaste is filled in tubes with the use of a filling machine, in an indoor closed area. There’s more life in the filling and packaging workshop; we are fascinated with a kaleidoscope of bright packaging materials.

After the tubes with toothpaste are tightly closed and sealed, you can finally take them in hands. But then they go back under the safe control of machines – tubes are automatically packed in small boxes. Here there is no hustle and bustle of the assembly-flow production; instead, you feel the same regularity, peace and order as in all other workshops we have seen. We cannot understand what helps to create this atmosphere. May be, it is simply because of the daylight that penetrates through large overhead windows and floods all rooms and areas.

— We have been here already an hour but have met very few people. Is it so calm here because there is no one in?

— We have something like 100 people working in two shifts. May be, it is because people feel at ease here. We launched this plant three years ago; when the plant started operating, we had been in the manufacturing industry already for 10 years. So, the core team came from our old plant in Domodedovo. It was important for us to keep our skilled specialists. Most of our specialists put life into their work because they like our product concept. Today, this production facility is one of the best and most advanced facilities in our industry not only in Russia but also far abroad.

— How soon do technologies become outdated? And how long can one hope to stay in the forefront in this industry?

— We have to keep moving forward all the time because if we stop we will immediately lag behind. We never save on innovations that’s why our equipment is really up-to-date, I’d say, the smartest. About a year ago we started producing hydroxyapatite, we are using bromelain, we are developing special formulations of toothpastes for children – we are in a constant search of new solutions. Of course, the whole industry is extensively advancing in the same direction trying to imitate our developments. But this only means that so far we have always managed to stay ahead.


Read more
10 December 2015
The People's Friendship University of Russia hosted the VI International Scientific Conference of Young Researchers with the participation of more than 300 students from all over the world, who are interested in science and are willing to take an active part in the scientific development. Unident that has for many years been participating in scientific programmes of the PFUR Institute for Medicine was a partner of the conference.
30 November 2015
Modern dentistry goes hand in hand with beauty medicine. Today, more than even people all over the world think of their health and looks and the standards of the desired esthetic parameters are becoming notably higher. In this situation, in order to meet their patients’ expectations, increasingly more often dentists tend to cooperate with beauty specialists.
23 September 2015
The chain of Unident clinics has opened its own training centre delivering training programmes for all specialists working in the chain’s clinics. Today, Unident incorporates 14 dental clinics and specialized medical centres. The company has many employees and the new training site will provide for continuous professional advancement of practitioners and various medical specialists.
24 August 2015
A workshop dedicated to the use of A- and C- silicones in dental prosthetics was held in UNIDENT’s training centre. The workshop organized in cooperation with Zhermack was delivered by dental practitioner Anton Beitan, Candidate of Medical Sciences.
24 July 2015
The two-day implantology workshop held in Moscow came to a close. The original courses developed by the leading specialists of the chain of Unident clinics Igor Ashurko and Sergey Rozhnov stem from the long-term educational programme implemented by UNIDENT in cooperation with SGS, a Swiss manufacturer of dental implants.

Работает на CMS DJEM. Дизайн — Студия Fractalla