Did you realise people have been cleaning their teeth since 5000BC? In fact, the earliest form of toothpaste was created by the Egyptians and contained mint, dried iris flowers, crushed rock salt and pepper. The ingredients created a powder that although quite abrasive, was as effective as most of the toothpaste used even just a century ago.
The earliest more ‘modern’ toothpaste was invented around the 1780s when people would use a concoction made mainly from burnt bread. In 1824, soap was added to toothpaste to increase its cleansing abilities. This was later replaced with sodium lauryl sulphate which creates a smooth paste. In 1873, Colgate produced the first commercially made toothpaste which was packaged in a jar. By the end of the 19th century, toothpaste was packaged in more familiar tubes.
We began to learn about the benefits of fluoride early in the 20th century, and in 1914 it was added to toothpaste. In 1975, the first herbal toothpaste was produced, for people who didn’t want to use fluoridated toothpaste. NASA invented an edible toothpaste in 1987, so astronauts could brush without spitting out the excess.
Nowadays, there is a tremendous choice of toothpaste. If you are baffled by the options, don’t forget to ask us for advice!