The History Of Toothpaste By Mark Tall on November 15, 2014

toothpaste imageToothpaste is one of the many staples in everyday life that few people think much about. Even fewer people suspect that people were using all sorts of strange ingredients to clean their teeth in the past. Here is a brief history of the simple dental hygiene item that most people use every day.

Powder Toothpaste Ingredients

Toothpaste was originally designed to be abrasive, to scratch, or grind against the surface of teeth. Paste needed to be abrasive in order to remove food particles, plaque and build up on teeth. Ancient people used ox hooves, sand, ashes, burned eggshells and pumice in early tooth paste creations.

Meanwhile, people in the Far East mixed ginseng, mint and herbs with their early paste to improve the taste and freshen breath. However, even with the improvements in flavor, smell and healthy mouth properties, at that time, only a small number of the world's population used toothpaste regularly.

In the mid 19th Century people started using a powder to clean their teeth. Water was added to a small bit of powder to create a paste. People also used ingredients like baking powder and charcoal in many homemade tooth paste recipes.

Original Toothpaste Forms

Today's toothpaste, or at least the form we are used to, came out in jars on the French market in middle part of the 1800's. Not to be outdone, the Colgate company introduced their own brand of toothpaste in 1873 (also in a jar). Toothpaste in tubes only became common around the turn of the century and even then it was a metal tube. Plastic ones are a recent development.

Strange Ingredients

The 1950s saw an increase in the jet-setting lifestyle filled with modern conveniences, including toothpaste delicately flavored with whiskey. One could definitely imagine glamorous movie stars brushing with the flavor of their favorite Scottish or Irish whiskey. Luckily, this trend faded as many soldiers from WWII came home and started their families.

Modern Developments

Toothpaste as we know it was largely a result of dental health standards set by the American Dental Association. Due to the force of a large increase in government agencies after the war, Americans began seeing new health and welfare standards. I

n the 1950's, the ADA took this new-found power and established standards for dental care including fluoride toothpaste. Sodium lauryl sulphate also became a common ingredient in mass-produced tooth paste during this time. Sodium lauryl sulphate is the secret agent that gives toothpaste its foaminess when it reacts with saliva in the mouth. And what would toothpaste be without that outrageous lather in your mouth while brushing?

Dental Hygiene In Modern Times

Despite the significant damages, there were a few good things that came out of WWII. One positive feature gained was that Americans began to practice regular dental hygiene in large numbers. This trend was from soldiers being ordered to brush their teeth daily as part of their daily routine. Many of these soldiers kept the habit after returning home and modern day dentistry was born. And along with this new trend, the desire for beautiful smiles increased and dental implants blossomed!

Come To Sandcreek Dental For All Your Dental Needs

Regardless of your toothpaste choices, care of your teeth and oral hygiene are critical. Furthermore, keeping teeth clean and healthy ensures that they will last a lifetime. If your teeth are not quite so healthy, Dr. Tall and the amazing staff at Sandcreek Dental have many options to help you care for your teeth and restore a healthy and happy smile. So if you live in the Idaho Falls, ID area, call us today to get or keep a beautiful and functional grin. Come see for yourself why patients are raving about the services at Sandcreek Dental. We can't wait to help you achieve your optimal dental health today!

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Dr. Mark Tall

Sandcreek Dental

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