We don’t think much about the paste we squeeze onto our toothbrush every morning, besides the fact that we need to use it to keep our teeth looking clean and our breath smelling fresh.

But toothpaste was not always how it is today. Here are 9 interesting facts about the origins of toothpaste and how it became the dental health staple we know and use everyday


  1. When and where did toothpaste originate?
    It is believed the first toothpaste was created around 5000 BC either in India, China or Egypt.
  2. What was the first toothpastes made of?
    Toothpaste ingredients depended on the people who made it. The Egyptians used ingredients such as mint, pepper, iris flower, salt, burnt egg shell, and the ash of ox hooves. The Romans would add urine, oyster shells and crushed bone into their toothpaste mixture.
  3. When was Fluoride first added to toothpaste?
    Fluoride is a chemical that is created in a laboratory and is an anion, a negatively charged ion, of fluorine. It was added to toothpaste in 1914 as it strengthens teeth and prevents decay.
  4. When did toothpaste become a paste, similar to today’s toothpastes?
    Before 1850, toothpastes were all in powder form. After ingredients like soap and chalk were added to the mixture, toothpastes were manufactured in a cream form.
  5. Are there any similarities between the first and modern day toothpaste?
    Many toothpastes use the same compounds that were used in the first toothpastes. The major difference is that these compounds are made in a laboratory. Modern toothpastes still use some strange ingredients, such as seaweed to give it its gel like consistency.
  6. What strange ingredients do modern toothpastes possess?
    The strangest ingredient in some modern toothpastes is formaldehyde, which is the same substance used to preserve dead bodies. Formaldehyde was added to toothpaste to kill any bacteria that came in contact with the tube of toothpaste.
  7. What other uses does toothpaste have besides cleaning teeth?
    Toothpaste can used used to get rid of pimples and is also capable of removing tarnish from silverware.
  8. How much toothpaste should be placed on your toothpaste?
    A pea-sized amount of toothpaste should be used to brush your teeth. More than this can damage the tooth enamel.
  9. Can you make your own toothpaste at home from household ingredients?
    You can make your own toothpaste by combining two thirds of a cup of baking soda, a teaspoon of salt, one to two teaspoons of peppermint extract and filtered water. You can add as much filtered water as you like to make the consistency you desire.