The Origins of Toothpaste

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The history of toothpaste dates back centuries, starting way back in 5000 B.C. Read today’s blog about the origins of toothpaste and how it has evolved over the years!

It all began in Egyptian times, when they started using a paste to clean their teeth – even before toothbrushes were invented and dentists were non-existent. Ancient Romans and Greeks used a “toothpaste,” and people in India and China, began using it around the year 500 B.C. Toothpastes of ancient origins were used much how we use it today. People wanted to keep their teeth clean, fresh, and whitened.

Ingredients in ancient toothpaste are much different than what we use today, although charcoals is making a comeback. For example:

– The Egyptians used powder of ox hooves’ ashes, and burnt eggshells were combined with pumice.
– A more abrasive toothpaste consisted of crushed bones and oyster shells, and were used with the Romans and Greeks. The Romans added flavoring, such as powdered charcoal and bark to make it more palatable.
– Ginseng, herbal mints, and salts were used, among other ingredients, as a choice of toothpaste for the Chinese.

In the 1800’s, early versions of paste contained soap, with the 1850’s introducing chalk. Betel nut was then included in England, around the same time. In the 1860’s, ground charcoal was mentioned as a home-made in the encyclopedia Britannica. Before the 1850’s, toothpastes were typically made with powders. Créme Dentifrice, designed by The Sheffield Dentifrice Company, and introduced in 1873, with Colgate being the first company who mass-produced it in jars. The tubes we’re familiar with now came out in 1890’s, and the saying “the rest is history,’’ applies here.

Toothpaste has changed over the years, but still just as important for clean teeth. At Euclid Family Dentistry, we love to discuss oral hygiene, including the most effective toothpaste in Ontario, California. Contact our dental team at 909-983-9639 for an appointment with your dentist, Dr. Michael Gardner, today!