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The History of Dentifrice

The History of Dentifrice

Posted by Gabriala Brown on Sep 17th 2018

Pastes, powders and many other concoctions have been used by man to clean teeth and gums and freshen breath for over 5000 years. Bones, shells, burnt eggshells, charcoal, bark, ox hooves’ ashes and more have been mixed together and used on teeth. Some were known to cause bleeding gums but were still used regularly. Different cultures have preferred abrasives, while others preferred smoother formulations.

Early versions of toothpaste contained soap.

In 1824, a dentist named Peabody added soap to toothpaste for added cleanliness.

According to Colgate, prior to the 1850’s, toothpastes were usually powders. A new Crème Dentifrice was developed in 1850 leading Colgate to start mass production of toothpaste in jars in 1873. The toothpaste tube followed in the 1890’s.

But the soap was removed in 1946 and never returned. From Colgate’s website: “Until after 1945, toothpastes contained soap. After that time, soap was replaced by other ingredients to make the paste into a smooth paste or emulsion - such as sodium lauryl sulphate, a common ingredient in present-day toothpaste.” (https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/brushing-and-flossing/history-of-toothbrushes-and-toothpastes)

Let’s go back to the future to a time before the introduction of chemical soaps into oral care. We can reminisce about Chinese versions of oral care containing salts and herbal mints.

Pure Tooth Soap® is the preferred cleanser for teeth and gums now. This time it’s enhanced with therapeutic, steam-distilled essential oils known for their powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties.

The focus is deep cleaning of the teeth and gums because periodontal disease is running rampant in 2018 and is correlated with life threatening diseases such as cancer, including lung and colorectal cancer. (1).

Oral care is more than preventing cavities. Plaque removal needs to be taken seriously. Just like washing your hands with soap after using the rest room is important to keep from spreading diseases, brushing with soap to clean off food debris, plaque and other contaminants from the teeth and gums is necessary to maintain overall body health.

Hundreds of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms have a direct line into the bloodstream through inflamed gums. Periodontal disease leads to bone loss in the jaw, eventually leading to the loss of teeth.

What is the number one way to prevent periodontal disease? Brushing teeth - it’s as simple as that. Whether your outlook is that streptococcus mutans excretes an acid that is the cause of cavities or you believe the outlook that sticky glycerin in toothpaste coats teeth preventing remineralization, which encourages tooth decay, Tooth Soap® works for both.

Bacteria and viruses are destroyed by small amounts of soap in water. That is why brushing with pure Tooth Soap® is helpful with a gentle, natural, disinfecting action. Tooth Soap® super cleans your teeth and gums.

New Tooth Soap® No.18 (chai formula) with Manuka honey from New Zealand takes Tooth Soap® to another level. Manuka honey has been found to affect plaque similarly to that of the chemical disinfectant chlorhexidine. (2) The huge difference is Tooth Soap® No.18 with Manuka honey and five different essential oils (known to enhance gum health) will not stain your teeth. Tooth Soap® No.18 (chai formula) has delicious Manuka honey plaque busting sweetness blended with cardamon, ginger, cinnamon, clove bud and black pepper - it may remind you of a spicy tea you once had in Bangladesh.

If homeopathic products are part of your lifestyle, the Plain Jane formula is for you. It’s a power wash for your teeth sans essentials oils that may interfere with the gentle mood of the homeopathic substance. The original Plain Jane formula has organic extra virgin olive oil and organic coconut oil. There is a 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tooth Soap® for those with coconut sensitivities (yes, some people can’t use coconut oil), there is a Plain Jane formula with croton lechleri (Sangre de Drago) for super gum support, another Plain Jane with certified clean and pure turmeric and a Non-Scents formula with 6% activated charcoal for tooth brightening.

Why put super foods and healing rain forest ingredients into oral care? Oral care is the second most used item in the restroom with the tissue for the commode being first. It really matters what you brush with. Brushing teeth is the most consistent way to be constantly exposed to whatever chemicals or helpful ingredients a dentifrice is made from.

Plain Jane Tooth Soap® is preferred when one wants to take a break from essential oils. With the natural and organic market growing steadily, essential oils are put into everything from skin care, shampoo, laundry detergent and more to diffusing them directly into the air. Many of us are getting plenty of essential oils and maybe sometimes too much. Essential oils are medicinal and should be used with moderation. Tooth Soap® users will sometimes use Plain Jane once a day to give their body a rest from essential oils that surround their natural and organic lives.

But there is more to the story spoken of frequently in the mainstream dental world, but not talked about so much to the general public. It’s about the serious problem of abrasion from commercial toothpaste.

Dr. Peter E. Dawson, a world-renowned dentist who wrote the book, “Functional Occlusion: From TMJ to Smile Design” in 2007 stated, “What we have been calling ABFRACTION lesions are really the result of toothpaste abuse”. (3)

If a dental patient has abfraction lesions, they may require gum surgery to replace the lost gum tissue. This means that the oral care product that is supposed to care for teeth is actually harming them long term, potentially causing the need for surgical intervention down the road.

Whenever we brush our teeth, we are either cleaning them gently or we are wearing the enamel down just a bit. If a person brushes three times a day that is a lot of opportunity to wear down enamel. This is why we take abrasion seriously.


Tooth Soap® is NON-Abrasive. This is important to understand because we brush our teeth approximately 57,000 times in our life and our teeth over time show the wear. When teeth are tan or brownish, it’s because the lighter enamel has been worn away and the tan colored “dentin” is showing through the thinner, translucent enamel.

Using a non-abrasive oral care product daily is key to keeping healthy teeth for life. You will have to remove common, every day food and drink stains from the teeth a couple of times a week to keep teeth bright, but the rest of the time non-abrasive Tooth Soap® is ideal.

Tooth Soap® is pure and made from pronounceable ingredients like organic extra virgin olive, organic coconut oil and essential oils. We believe if it goes in your mouth it’s best that it’s made from food.

Super cleaning teeth and gums and doing it in a non-abrasive way is not the only great thing about Tooth Soap®. The organic, economical concentrated formulas are made the old fashioned way in small 49 pound batches to maintain their integrity. We take oral care very seriously and make sure everyone knows that cleaning teeth and gums meticulously is one part of keeping healthy teeth and gums for life - the other vital part is eating a whole food nutritious diet rich in vitamins and minerals needed to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

We are here to answer any questions you have about natural oral care and guarantee anyone who tries Tooth Soap® will feel a difference after the first brushing!


1 Michaud DS, Lu J, Peacock-Villada AY, Barber JR, Joshu CE, Prizment AE, Beck JD, Offenbacher S, Platz EA. Periodontal Disease Assessed Using Clinical Dental Measurements and Cancer Risk in the ARIC Study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2018 Aug 1;110(8):843-854.10.

2 Nayak PA, Nayak UA, Mythili R. Effect of Manuka honey, chlorhexidine gluconate and xylitol on the clinical levels of dental plaque. Contemp Clin Dent. 2010 Oct;1(4):214-7.

3 Abrahamsen TC. The worn dentition--pathognomonic patterns of abrasion and erosion. Int Dent J. 2005;55(4 Suppl 1):268-76.