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The Evolution of Toothpaste

December 19, 2016

Attempts at good oral hygiene have been traced all the way back to the days of the Ancient Egyptians. While King Tut may not have had the cleanest teeth by today’s standards, oral hygiene was definitely still considered an important part of healthy living. For ages humans have been trying to create the best formula for cleaning teeth, and while nothing has been proven to work better than modern day toothpaste, some early attempts weren’t too far off. Here’s a look at toothpaste and its evolution throughout history:

4 AD: Ancient Egyptians used a concoction of crushed rock salt, mint, dried iris flowers, and pepper to clean their teeth. Scientists have found that this mixture is the most effective compared to mixtures from as recent as 100 years ago.

1780: During this time many people were known to clean their teeth with a powder made up of burnt bread.

1824: Soap was added to toothpaste to increase it’s effectiveness. Later soap was substituted with sodium lauryl sulfate for a smoother paste.

1873: Colgate released the first commercial toothpaste. It was the first “nice smelling” toothpaste and was sold in a jar.

1892: A dentist named Dr. Sheffield was the first doctor known to put toothpaste in a collapsible tube.

1914: During this time, fluoride was added to toothpaste to make it more effective in reducing and preventing cavities. 

1987: The first edible toothpaste was invented by NASA so that astronauts didn’t have to spit into zero gravity. It became mostly used by children.

1989: A company named Rembrandt became the first company to advertise a toothpaste that could whiten and brighten a smile.

As reflected in history, maintaining a healthy and clean smile is very important to societies across the globe. Not only is a healthy smile better for overall wellness, but it has been known to increase both confidence and friendliness. Take a lesson from the Ancient Egyptians and be sure to keep up with a healthy oral hygiene routine – luckily today’s toothpaste is much more effective at getting our pearly whites clean!

If it’s time to give your little one’s smile a little extra cleaning, be sure to schedule your annual checkup with Dr. Maggie!

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