Toothpaste is one of the most essential items in your house and around the world. You use it on a daily basis. But have you ever wondered how, when, and where this essential household item came into being?
Egyptians are believed to be the first people to use substances made out of various ingredients to clean their teeth since 5000BC. While these powdery substances were nothing like the toothpaste we use today, they served more or less the same purpose. Back then, toothbrushes weren’t even invented – which happened between 3500 to 30000 BC. It is also a known fact that Ancient Greeks and Romans used to have toothpaste, while people in India and China started using it around 500BC.
Just like today, these ancient types of toothpaste were used to keep teeth and gums clean, freshen breath, and whiten the teeth. But the ingredients used to create toothpaste have changed drastically over the years.
It has been observed that the Egyptians used burnt eggshells, powder of ox’s hooves, and ashes, combined using a pumice stone to make a powder they’d rub their teeth and gums with. On the other hand, the Greeks and Romans were more abrasive with their toothpaste ingredients. The Greeks used crushed bones and oyster shells to create a powder to clean their teeth. Later on, the Romans enhanced it and added some flavoring to help bad breath, along with powdered charcoal and bark. Over the years, the ingredients used in Chinese toothpastes have constantly changed and evolved, as they used a variety of ingredients, including salt, herbal mints, and ginseng.
The earliest known example of a past form of toothpaste that we are familiar with now came in to being in the 1850s. Known as Crème Dentifrice, it was sold in jars.
It wasn’t until the 1890s that Colgate introduced the tube in which toothpaste is sold to date.