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The History Of Toothpaste

Even our early ancestors know the importance of dental hygiene! We don’t know much about the earliest toothpastes, but we know humans were using substances containing crushed shells and bones (to function as abrasives) in order to clean their teeth as early as 5,000BC.

In the ninth century, a Persian inventor created a tooth cleaning concoction that became quite popular in early Spain. Even though we don’t know what this product was or what it was made from, many of the locals raved about its pleasant taste and the effectiveness with which their teeth were cleaned.

While we’re not 100% sure how these early toothpastes were applied to teeth, we have reason to believe that rudimentary toothbrushes were used. They were made of feathers, twigs and rags. We don't know how these early products were applied to teeth. Early attempts at toothbrushes, we believe, included rags, feathers and certain twigs. The first recorded use of a toothbrush comes from 1690, although at this point, they were using tooth powders instead of toothpastes. Tooth powder was a combination of many ingredients that people often just made at home. Some of these ingredients included ground up chalk, brick, salt, and charcoal.

Toothpaste as we know it today wasn’t invented until after World War I. Homemade tooth powders were still being used, but commercially made toothpastes were beginning to replace the powder. The first toothpastes contained baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and were first put into a tube in 1892. Fluoride was finally added to toothpaste in 1914, and by that time toothpaste was pretty similar to what we use today.

Flossing your teeth once a day and brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day is still the best way to keep your mouth healthy! In addition, you should be visiting your dentist at least every 3-6 months. To set up an appointment for your family with Dr. Matthew Brady, please contact Little Rockies Pediatric Dentistry!

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