It is common knowledge that brushing your teeth with toothpaste is essential to healthy oral habits. But toothpaste has changed a lot since Colgate sold the first tube of toothpaste in 1896. We now have a plethora of different toothpaste brands, flavors, and types of toothpaste for us to to choose from. But this was not always the case, especially before the tube of toothpaste era.
As Wheat Ridge, Colorado’s most trusted dentist, we seek to provide the greater Denver area with information to help keep their teeth healthy. Let us fill you in on everything there’s to know about toothpaste before you come in for your next dental check-up.
The History of Toothpaste
The desire to obtain whiter, healthier teeth is not a new concept. In fact, the ancient Greeks and Romans used tooth powder mixtures to help cleanse their teeth. These ancient toothpaste recipes were made of abrasives, like crushed bones or shells, which would scrape away plaque and help prevent dental decay.
As technology increased, toothpaste was brought into circulation and soon became available for general use in the 1800’s. Some of these toothpaste recipes from this time period called for abrasives, like burnt bread, chalk, and even crushed brick, to be mixed. These ingredients were soon phased out as more acceptable options became well known.
Starting in the late 1800’s, companies have been selling toothpaste in tubes, a trend that has lasted more than a century. Around this same time, fluoride began being added to toothpaste to decrease the chance of tooth decay. It would be another few decades before the chemical was added to the majority of water supplies in the United States, which has lead to a great decrease of dental cavities.
Types of Toothpaste
As mentioned above, advancements in medical science and technology have given way to many different varieties and types of toothpaste. Choosing the toothpaste that’s best for you can be difficult because of the countless options, but there are a few types of toothpaste and some essential ingredients you should make sure your toothpaste contains. A few of these ingredients and types of toothpaste are:
- Fluoride: Despite being called one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century, there is still toothpaste on the market without this essential chemical.
- Tartar Control: Everyone has a layer of bacteria on their teeth called plaque. If plaque is not removed correctly, then it will harden into tartar which is far more difficult to remove.
- Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste: This is only really essential if your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. This type of toothpaste usually contains potassium nitrate or sodium chloride that block pathways to the nerves in the teeth.
Regardless of your preferred toothpaste brand, we recommend you brush your teeth after every meal and floss once a day. However, since brushing and flossing are not enough on their own to keep your smile healthy, you should visit our Wheat Ridge, Colorado office often for dental cleanings and checkups. You can contact us here or call us at 303.422.8748 to schedule an appointment.