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Brushing and flossing the teeth is imperative to oral health. Did you know that people have been cleaning their teeth and caring for their smiles since as early as 5000 BC? Let’s take a little journey through the history of toothpaste.

The Egyptians started using a paste to clean their teeth around 5000 BC. Other ancient civilizations used toothpastes as well, such as the Greeks and Romans. In China and India, toothpaste developed around 500 BC.

While ancient toothpastes had many of the same purposes as today—cleaning the gums and teeth, freshening breath, and whitening teeth—the ingredients were quite different and varied. Ancient toothpastes included ingredients like:

– Ox hooves
– Ashes
– Burnt eggshells
– Pumice
– Bones
– Oyster shells
– Charcoal
– Bark
– Rock salt
– Mint
– Iris flowers
– Pepper

During the 1850s, tooth cleaners developed from being powders to being an actual paste. Toothpaste in a jar called Crème Dentifrice was the first of these pastes. In 1873, Colgate began the mass production of toothpaste in jars.

Fluoride became a toothpaste ingredient in 1914. In 1945, ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, which makes the paste smooth, were added to toothpastes. In 1987, edible toothpaste was developed. This toothpaste is now used by children who are learning to brush their teeth. However, edible toothpaste was first invented by NASA so that astronauts could brush their teeth without having to spit in zero-gravity. In more recent times, toothpastes have been developed that do things like whiten the teeth and provide extra protection against decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

We welcome you to contact of today to learn more about toothpaste and oral health in Poughkeepsie, New York, and to schedule an appointment with our dentists. Dr. Nicoletti, Dr. Feit, and our dental team are thrilled to answer any questions that you may have!