If you see this black mark on your toothpaste tube, this is what it means. Now I really pay close attention.


Have you ever taken a close look at your tube of toothpaste? If you look at the very bottom, you’ll notice a small colored square. It might not look like much, but it actually has a very important meaning. Some people think that the black and red squares indicate that the toothpaste contains synthetic chemicals, whereas a green square indicates only natural ingredients. But that’s actually not the case at all.


The truth is that these colored marks have nothing to do with the composition of the product and the only way to know what is really in your toothpaste is to read the ingredients.

If you take a look at some other products such as milk cartons, cereal boxes, or cookie packages, you’ll notice that they also have these colored squares. The real reason they’re there is to act as a guide during the cutting process in the packaging plant.
The packaging for most products is done in separate factories. During the manufacturing of toothpaste tubes, the colored squares tell the printing machines where to start and stop at the end of each tube. The various colors depend on the manufacturer and sometimes on the quality of the tube. Darker colors are used so the machine can «read» them more easily.


The rumor that these color codes have anything to do with the toothpaste ingredients can lead people to buy products that might not be good for their or their children’s teeth. That’s why it’s always important to do some research to find out if these kinds of claims are true. People who buy toothpaste with a green square and expect it to be all natural might end up with a product that is full of synthetic chemicals and even the small plastic granules that many toothpaste companies have started using. These people end up with a product that isn’t good for them or the environment.


So if you’re looking for a toothpaste that is all natural, ignore the colored square and take a close look at the ingredients. It’s the only way to really know what you’re buying.