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We know that brushing your teeth twice a day is imperative for our oral health, but many people do not know how toothpaste came to be. Different forms of toothpastes have been around for thousands of years. Let’s explore the history and development of toothpaste together.

The oldest toothpaste formula that we know of was created by the Egyptians. They used crushed rock salt, pepper, mint, and dried iris flowers. Different countries and peoples used different ingredients for their toothpastes. Some used things like ox hoof powder, ashes, and burnt eggshells to clean their teeth. Greeks and Romans included crushed bones and oyster shells in their toothpastes. Some countries added ingredients to help with halitosis. Ancient toothpastes were used to address some of the same things that modern toothpastes do: cleaning the teeth and gums, whitening teeth, and freshening breath.

In the 1800s, toothpastes began using soap as one of the ingredients. Ingredients like chalk and ground charcoal were also used. In 1873, Colgate began the mass production of toothpaste in jars.

Toothpastes continued to develop in the 1900s. In 1914, fluoride was added to toothpastes. In 1975, herbal toothpastes were developed as an alternative to fluoride toothpastes. In 1987, edible toothpaste was invented by NASA so that astronauts could brush their teeth in space without spitting into zero gravity. This edible toothpaste is now used by children who are learning to brush their teeth. The first whitening toothpaste was created in 1989.

We welcome you to contact our office to learn more about toothpaste and oral health in Pasadena, California, and to schedule an appointment with our dentist. Dr. Scott R. Adishian and our dental team are thrilled to answer any questions that you may have!