Toothpastes are pastes, powders, liquids, or other preparations intended for cleaning the teeth. If the product is also intended to prevent the formation of cavities (carries), then it is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as an Over-The-Counter (OTC) drug. Toothpaste is recommended by dentists to be used in conjunction with a toothbrush to help remove food debris and dental plaque. Other products might also work to whiten teeth by providing a coating that hides discoloration.The active ingredients used in OTC anti-carries toothpastes are Sodium Fluoride, Stannous Fluoride and Sodium Monofluorophosphate, each of which is approved by the FDA. The FDA says that it is very important to read and follow directions for using Toothpastes. For products that are OTC drugs regulated by FDA, the labeling must follow the requirements established in the regulations and use the “Drug Facts” format established by FDA. For more information about FDA regulation of OTC anticaries drug products, review the Code of Federal Regulations. Toothpaste product safety is established by selection of ingredients that are safe and suitable for this purpose. Toothpastes are assessed to ensure that they are safe for use in the oral cavity and for incidental consumption. Product safety is also ensured though strict adherence to the principles of Quality Assurance and Good Manufacturing Practices. This includes testing the compatibility of the product with packaging as well as shelf-life stability. Finally, the safety of products is monitored in the market-place to track any consumer comments or complaints. Companies include a phone number on their products where comments or complaints may be reported.