We all know that brushing your teeth twice a day is imperative for our oral health, but many people do not know how toothpaste came to be. Different forms of toothpastes have been around for thousands of years. Let’s explore the history and development of toothpaste together.
The Egyptians started using a paste to clean their teeth around 5000 BC. Other ancient civilizations used toothpastes as well, such as the Greeks and Romans. In China and India, toothpaste developed around 500 BC.
The oldest toothpaste formula that we know was created by the Egyptians. They used crushed rock salt, pepper, mint, and dried iris flowers. Different countries and peoples used different ingredients for their toothpastes. Some used things like ox hoof powder, ashes, and burnt eggshells to clean their teeth. Greeks and Romans included crushed bones and oyster shells in their toothpastes. Some countries added ingredients to help with bad breath. Ancient toothpastes were used to address some of the same things that modern toothpastes do: cleaning the teeth and gums, whitening teeth, and freshening breath.
In the 1800s, toothpastes began using soap as one of the ingredients. Ingredients like chalk and ground charcoal were also used. During the 1850s, tooth cleaners developed from being powders to being an actual paste. Toothpaste in a jar called Crème Dentifrice was the first of these pastes. In 1873, Colgate began the mass production of toothpaste in jars.
Toothpastes continued to develop in the 1900s. In 1914, fluoride was added to toothpastes because it was discovered that fluoride significantly decreases cavities. In 1975, herbal toothpastes were developed as an alternative to fluoride toothpastes. In 1987, edible toothpaste was invented by NASA so that astronauts could brush their teeth in space without spitting into zero gravity. This edible toothpaste is now used by children who are learning to brush their teeth. The first whitening toothpaste was invented in 1989.
We welcome you to contact Pembroke Square Dental today to learn more about toothpaste and oral health in Pembroke Pines, Florida, and to schedule an appointment with our dentists. Dr. Abdelmonem, Dr. Azadi, and our dental team are thrilled to answer any questions that you may have!