The Advancement of Toothpaste

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Brushing and flossing the teeth is imperative to oral health. Did you know that people have been cleaning their teeth and caring for their smiles since as early as 5000 BC? Let’s take a look at toothpaste through history.

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.

Ancient toothpastes included ingredients like ox hooves, ashes, burnt eggshells, and pumice. The Greeks and Romans used crushed bones, oyster shells, powdered charcoal, and bark in their toothpastes. The Romans also used flavoring to lessen bad breath. In 4 AD, the Egyptians used crushed rock salt, mint, dried iris flowers, and pepper to create a teeth cleaning powder.

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 1945, the soap in toothpastes was replaced by ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, which makes the paste smooth. In 1987, edible toothpaste was developed. This toothpaste is now used by children who are learning to brush their teeth. However, edible toothpaste was first invented by NASA so that astronauts could brush their teeth without having to spit in zero-gravity. In more recent times, toothpastes have been developed that do things like whiten the teeth and provide extra protection against decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

We welcome you to contact us today to learn more about toothpaste and oral health in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and to schedule an appointment with our dentist. Dr. Kenneth Lewis and our dental team are thrilled to answer any questions that you may have!