From Eggshells to NASA – the Fascinating History of Toothpaste

1 Jul

From Eggshells to NASA – the Fascinating History of Toothpaste

From Eggshells to NASA – the Fascinating History of Toothpaste

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? Today, we look at the origins of toothpaste and how it has evolved into the array of products that we know today.

Ancient Egypt

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

Greece and Rome

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.


The ingredients used in Chinese toothpastes have constantly changed and evolved, as they used a variety of ingredients, including salt, herbal mints, and ginseng.

Space Toothpaste

To help keep astronauts’ (yes, astronauts) teeth clean while in space, NASA invented an edible toothpaste that could be swallowed after brushing. Edible toothpaste was then repurposed for young children to use, because it did not present a risk if it was ingested.

Toothpaste Today

The earliest known example of a past form of toothpaste that we are familiar with now came into 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

We’ve come a long way from crushed oysters and ginseng mixtures. Navigating the toothpaste market can be a bit difficult, but we’re here to help. Call(703)719-9305 to schedule an appointment in our office to discuss the type of toothpaste that will work best for your child, and what would work best for our entire family. 


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