There are only a few things in life that go great together. Peanut butter and jelly. Bacon and eggs. Salt and pepper. Toothbrush and toothpaste. As simple as the toothbrush and toothpaste are, they are very efficient in what they do. Take one out and you are reducing the cleaning efficiency by at least 50%. No matter what the toothbrush design is or what the toothpaste flavor is, these humble teeth cleaning tools were designed to be used together.
When you talk about dental hygiene, most of us would most certainly get a mental image of the toothbrush. Some of you probably already know about where the toothbrush came from. But how about the toothpaste? It is one-half of this teeth cleaning dynamic duo and deserves to be in the spotlight once in a while. Today, we are going to explore the history of the toothpaste. We’ll examine where and when it was first used and how the modern toothpaste came to be.
The First Toothpaste
It was believed that the Egyptians were the first to use toothpaste for dental care. Their toothpaste is far from what we are using today and is certainly not pleasant on the tastebuds. Its consistency is also more of a powder than paste. It is made up of a combination of burnt eggshells, powdered ashes of ox hooves, myrrh and pumice. They have been using this concoction as far back as 5000 BC. As you can imagine, not only is this tooth powder not pleasant on the tastebuds but can also damage the enamel on the teeth.
First Usage With The Toothbrush
People started using tooth powder together with the toothbrush in 19th century Britain. You won’t find burnt eggshells or pumice in this tooth powder. Instead, it is made up of chalk, salt and powdered brick. Yes, powdered brick. It is in no way an improvement in the taste department but the chalk component does improve the teeth whitening aspect of this powder.
The modern toothpaste was invented in 1760 by a German dental surgeon named Freidrich Von Schuthzwurth. His toothpaste is made up of withered down horse bones, a gel made out of tree sap and natural herbs.
Fast forward to the 1900s, a paste made out of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide became an alternative for tooth powder, which is still the popular choice during this time period.
In the 1890s, calcium fluoride was first added to toothpastes. Fast forward again to the year 1950, Procter & Gamble developed a research project to study a new kind of toothpaste. By 1955, they were able to launch the first clinically proven fluoride-containing toothpaste. The name of this new toothpaste? Crest. And the rest is history.