Have you ever noticed anything while you were at the store shopping for toothpaste? Nearly every tube of toothpaste on the shelves is mint flavored. There are the traditional flavors such as peppermint, fresh mint, or spearmint. There are the new flavors such as Crest’s Mint Chocolate Trek, Vanilla Mint Spark, and Lime Spearmint Zest. The thing that all of these toothpastes have in common is mint. Human mouths can typically distinguish between hundreds and even thousands of distinct flavors. So why is mint the dominant flavor in toothpaste?
For hundreds of years, people have used various methods to freshen their breath and clean their teeth. The first factor to examine is the abundance of access to mint oils. Mint oil is cheap and there is an abundance of it year round, which makes it ideal to use as a flavoring when mass producing products. Another critical factor that keeps mint in favor as the top toothpaste flavor is the tingling fresh sensation that mint causes in the mouth. You have probably noticed that mint makes your mouth feel colder and leaves a sensation. This cooling feeling can be appealing or even addicting, and creates the assumption of fresher breath.
Other flavors of toothpaste do exist if you look for them hard enough, and they can work just as well and in the same way as the mint toothpastes from major brands. One popular example is Tom’s of Maine, which produces toothpaste flavors such as Orange-Mango.