Did you know that oral hygiene was a top priority in society as early as 5000 BC? Even though the brands of toothpaste that we have today are the most effective in preventing oral disease, the concoctions up until now haven’t been too far off. Take a ride on a fantastic voyage into the history of toothpaste.

4 AD: The world’s oldest-known formula for toothpaste was created by Egyptians. They crushed rock salt, mint, dried iris flowers and pepper and mixed them together to create a cleaning powder. Although this concoction is known to create bleeding gums, research suggests it is the most effective compared to most toothpastes used as recently as a century ago.

1780: People were known to scrub their teeth with a powder that was made up of mainly burnt bread. That’s right – what a lot of us eat for breakfast was once considered an effective solution for clean and healthy teeth.

1824: A dentist named Peabody added soap to toothpaste for added cleanliness. Soap was later replaced by sodium lauryn sulfate to create a smooth paste

1873: The first commercially produced, nice-smelling toothpaste was launched by Colgate and sold in a jar.

1892: Dr. Washington Sheffield is the first person to put toothpaste in a collapsible tube. It has been suggested that this version of toothpaste is the most similar to today’s version.

1914: Fluoride is added to toothpastes after discovering it significantly decreased dental cavities.

1975: Herbal toothpastes, such as Tom’s, become available as an alternative to cleaning teeth without fluoride. These toothpastes include ingredients like peppermint oil, myrrh and plant extracts.

1987: Edible toothpaste is invented. What is mainly used by children just learning to brush their teeth was actually invented by NASA so astronauts could brush their teeth without spitting into a zero-gravity abyss.

1989: Rembrandt invented the first toothpaste that claimed to whiten and brighten your smile.

With the world of dentistry evolving at such a rapid pace, what do you think is the milestone in the toothpaste timeline? Let us know below.


Barry Polansky
November 20th, 2012
Nice work Denise...but no history of toothpaste, especially in America, would be complete without mentioning Claude C. Hopkins. Hopkins was what we call these days, an ad man. Kind of like Don Draper of the TV show Mad Men, his job was to create campaigns. He created the Pepsodent campaign in the early 1900's and change the course of dentistry and hygiene forever. His campaign was responsible for toothbrushing becoming a Habit. His book, Scientific Advertising is the basis of most of the 20th Century's direct advertising. His story is chronicled in the recent bestseller The Power of Habit...here is a link that leads to an excerpt of the book and the Hopkin's/Pepsodent story. Enjoy. http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2012/02/an_excerpt_from_charles_duhigg_s_the_power_of_habit_.html Thank You Barry Polansky
June 23rd, 2013
Rose 2.0
August 28th, 2013
WOW indeed.
August 28th, 2013
Coen you there?
October 1st, 2013
Thank you for the info! :)
Erum Mir Baloch
April 12th, 2015
Thanks for Sharing your experience.
Cheese Doughnut
May 1st, 2015
Thanks for the info. I have to do a project on toothpaste and this was very helpful.