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The History of Toothpaste

Oct 28, 2017 | News

Have you ever wondered how toothpaste came to be? The history of toothpaste goes back for thousands of years. Our dentist and team in Las Cruces, New Mexico, are excited to share some fun toothpaste facts with you!

Way back in 5000 BC, before the toothbrush was even invented, it is believed that the Egyptians started using a paste to clean their teeth. Ancient Greeks and Romans also used pastes to clean their teeth. Around 500 BC, those in China and India began using toothpastes.

Ancient toothpastes were made from different ingredients, but they were used to treat some of the same oral concerns as today: whitening teeth, freshening breath, and cleaning the teeth and gums. Ancient toothpaste ingredients include powdered ox hooves, ashes, and burned eggshells. These ingredients were combined to create a pumice. In Rome and Greece, the citizens preferred more abrasive toothpaste, so they included things like crushed bones and oyster shells. The Romans also used charcoal, bark, and flavoring to help with bad breath. In China, herbal mints, salt, and ginseng were also included in toothpaste.

In the 1800s, modern toothpastes began to develop. At the time, toothpastes included soap and chalk. In England, toothpaste contained betel nut. In the 1860s, some toothpastes contained ground charcoal.

Toothpastes were usually in powder form until the 1850s. During this decade, Crème Dentifrice, a toothpaste in a jar, was developed. In 1873, Colgate started mass producing toothpaste in jars. In the 1890s, toothpaste in a tube was developed.

Until 1945, toothpaste contained soap. Soap was then replaced by ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate to make the paste smooth. After a time, modern toothpastes were developed to help prevent or treat specific oral conditions, like tooth sensitivity.

We welcome you to contact David Sudimack at 575-522-7320 today to learn more and to schedule an appointment with Dr. David Sudimack.