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Although you have been brushing your teeth for years, and probably with different types and flavors of toothpaste, you may not know how toothpaste came to be and how it’s evolved over the years. Today’s blog showcases the toothpaste’s origins, so please read.

Ancient toothpaste dates to about the year 5000 B.C. when the Egyptians started using a paste to clean their teeth – well before toothbrushes were even invented, or dentists! Ancient Greeks and Romans used a paste, along with residents in India and China, who began using it around the year 500 B.C. Toothpaste of ancient origins were used similar to how we use it now to keep people’s teeth fresh, clean, and white.

Ingredients in ancient toothpaste are very different from what we use today. For example, back then, people used:

– The powder of ox hooves’ ashes and burnt eggshells that were combined with pumice for Egyptians.
– A more abrasive toothpaste made from crushed bones, with oyster shells used, were developed by the Romans and Greeks. The Romans also added flavoring, such as powdered charcoal and bark.
– Ginseng, herbal mints, and salts, were also used, with other ingredients, as a choice of paste for the Chinese.

It wasn’t until the 1800’s when early versions contained soap. In the 1850’s chalk was introduced. Betel nut was included in England’s toothpaste, about the same time. In the 1860’s, ground charcoal was a home-made toothpaste mentioned in the encyclopedia. Toothpastes were typically made with powders, prior to the 1850’s. Créme Dentifrice, the product from The Sheffield Dentifrice Company, was first developed in 1873, and Colgate was the first company to mass-produce it in jars. The tubes came out in 1890’s, and the rest is history.

At Lincoln Park Dental Associates, we would love to discuss oral hygiene, including toothpaste in Chicago, Illinois. Contact our dental team at 773-348-7008 for an appointment with Dr. Theodore Gehrig.