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Where did toothpaste come from? Our pediatric dentist and team would love to enlighten you on the history of toothpaste.

Around 5000 BC, the Egyptians began using a paste to clean their teeth. This was before any form of toothbrush had been invented. Those in Ancient Greek and Rome are also known to have used toothpastes. Around 500 BC, forms of toothpaste were used in China and India for the first time.

Ancient peoples wanted some of the same things out of their toothpastes as we do today. Despite this, the ingredients used were very different than what we use today. Some popular ingredients for toothpaste included:

– Ox hooves
– Ashes
– Burned eggshells
– Pumice
– Crushed bones
– Oyster shells
– Charcoal
– Bark
– Salt

More modern forms of toothpastes began to be developed in the 1800s. Early versions used soap, chalk, or charcoal. Before the 1850s, many toothpastes were in powder form. The first toothpaste in a jar was developed in 1850 and toothpaste in jars began being mass produced in 1873.

Until about 1945, toothpastes contained soap. After that, the soap was replaced by ingredients that smoothed the paste, like sodium lauryl sulphate.

Today, toothpastes have been developed to help prevent specific dental issues and disease like gum disease and tooth sensitivity. Fluoride toothpastes have been made to help prevent tooth decay. Other toothpastes have been developed to help prevent bad breath or to help whiten the teeth.

We invite you to contact Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry at 703-542-7000 for more information and to schedule your child’s next appointment with Dr. Jonathon Konz. Our pediatric dentist in Ashburn, Virginia, is excited to serve your child’s smile!