Toothpaste’s Fascinating History

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You likely brush your teeth with toothpaste every day, but have you ever thought about where toothpaste came from? Well, let’s go on a journey through time! Toothpaste’s chemical makeup has morphed quite a bit over the years, eventually making its way to the contemporary minty fresh formula that you use today.

The first toothpastes were probably invented in ancient Egypt and were used to fight tooth decay and freshen breath just like ours. The difference was in the ingredients; the Egyptians used crushed rock salt, dried iris flowers, and pepper. Researchers assert that this ancient Egyptian toothpaste was actually pretty effective at eliminating plaque.

Greeks and Romans used a concoction made from oyster shells, horse waste, and animal hooves. Upon hearing about this, all of us at Redwood Dental were thankful for our current forms of fluoride-filled toothpaste.

In the 7th century AD, a man named Ziryab molded a tooth cleaning solution that was described to be both “practical and agreeable to the taste.” He advertised his formula throughout the Muslim world and it became very common. Ziryab’s invention was very influential in bringing about the modern toothpaste movement.

A dentist in 1824 added soap to toothpaste. In 1873, Colgate launched the first commercially produced breath-improving paste and peddled it in a jar. From there, toothpaste scoured away its last glitches when fluoride was added and soap was swapped for other chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate.

Now you know the history of toothpaste. Next time when you are squeezing your toothpaste onto your toothbrush, you can remember that, like you, toothpaste has a past too.

If you live in Providence, Utah and would like to set an appointment with Dr. Troy Walton, just call 435-755-6562. We’re here to serve.