The Evolution of Toothpaste

Ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese used powders to clean their teeth and freshen their breath. The ingredients used for these powders varied from charcoal to chalk and even soap, based on the civilization’s resources. The formula of toothpaste used today has the most effective results in preventing gum disease and maintaining good oral health; whereas the ingredients in previous formulas, like charcoal, can cause more harm than good. Click here for more information on the negative effects of charcoal toothpaste.

Let’s take you and your child on a journey back in time to learn about the evolution of toothpaste!

The Oldest Known Toothpaste Formulas

The world’s oldest known tooth powder formula was created by the Egyptians. It was a mixture of crushed rock salt, mint leaves, and dried iris flowers. This recipe was effective in cleaning teeth and creating fresh breath; however, it was known to create bleeding gums. The Greeks and Romans created their tooth powder formula from crushed bones and oyster shells with charcoal and bark flavoring to eliminate bad breath. The Chinese created their tooth powder formula using ground substances like ginseng, herbal mint, and salt.

The First Evolution of Toothpaste

The development of toothpastes started in the 1800s. Early versions of it still included soap and chalk to brush away tartar and bacteria, create texture, and produce foam. In the 1850s, a new toothpaste jar, Crème Dentifrice was developed by American dental surgeon, Dr. Washington Sheffield. The toothpaste jar included mint extract for flavor. He provided this as a sample to his patients and they loved it. It became such a heavily requested item that he began mass producing the product. This was the first toothpaste sold in a collapsible tube.

The Rise of Modern Toothpastes

Improvements continued to be made on the types of toothpaste sold and used. In 1914, fluoride was added to toothpastes after it was discovered to decrease tooth decay. Other enhancements included toothpaste with low abrasion to prevent enamel damage and toothpaste that reduced tooth sensitivity.

Specialized Toothpastes

By 1987, edible toothpaste was created for children who were learning to brush their teeth and for NASA astronauts brushing their teeth in a zero-gravity atmosphere.

Today’s toothpaste contains features designed to whiten teeth, control tartar buildup, restore minerals to the enamel, and reduce plaque formation. When used daily with a toothbrush and floss, toothpaste is a key tool in preventing gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.

At Advanced Children’s Dentistry, your Garden City Pediatric Dentist, we want to make sure your child develops good oral hygiene habits. Call to schedule an appointment at (516) 758 – KIDS.

Advanced Children’s Dentistry is proud to serve the surrounding cities: Mineola, Hempstead, West Hempstead, Franklin Square, Uniondale, New Hyde Park, Westbury, North New Hyde Park, Roosevelt, Freeport, Valley Stream, Baldwin, Elmont, Massapequa, Levittown, Glen Cove, Long Beach, Hicksville, Oceanside, Wantagh, Oyster Bay, Merrick, Roslyn, Carle Place, Williston Park, Old Westbury, Albertson, East Meadow, Garden City Park, Floral Park, East Garden City and many more.

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