Toothpaste is a paste used with a toothbrush to clean our teeth and mouth so that bacteria and germs do not cause diseases in our teeth and gums.
Besides preventing diseases of the mouth, toothpaste also helps with removing plaque from our teeth, whitening the teeth and to freshen our breath.
The earliest known formula of toothpaste was written in the 4th century AD, and was believed to give a perfect smile to the person using it.
A dentist mixed the formula but ended up with bleeding gums instead. This formula was made over 1500 years before the first toothpaste was advertised in the market.
The Egyptians were the first to properly use a paste to clean their teeth, and this as around 5000 BC. The Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Chinese also started afterwards.
The modern development of toothpaste as we know today started around the 1800s and first came as powders.
After the 1850s, toothpastes that came in jars replaced tooth powders.
Colgate was the first company to start producing toothpaste on a large scale in 1873 and they introduced the first toothpaste in a tube in 1890.
In the last part of the twentieth century, dentists and dental scientists developed toothpaste with fluoride to tackle the high amount of teeth sensitivity and diseases.
There are many chemicals in toothpastes that deliver different results, and fluoride toothpaste is considered the best.
Besides fluoride, the other ingredients in toothpaste are certain types of surfactants (different to the ones found in soaps and shampoos) and water, that help the paste spread through our mouth, and even foam up.
Some believe that too much fluoride is dangerous, but using fluoride based toothpaste twice or three times a day is considered harmless.
There are special types of toothpaste in the market today. Flavoured mild ones are available for kids, which are flavoured with Spearmint, Peppermint and other sweeteners.
There are other special types of toothpaste for sensitive teeth, gum diseases, and bad breath.