Thursday, 28 February 2013

Whiter Teeth, Fresher Mouth & Advertising

Another day another visit to the dentist – today the beginning of a crown and an hour in the chair - what fun. And I am back tomorrow.

I now have to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth – apparently it makes a coasting on the teeth to protect them a bit, as well as containing an ingredient which can get into the teeth as a substitute for calcium. As someone who loves natural, (nasty) chemical free products, this is a bit hard for me.

Did you know modern toothpaste contains these ingredients:.
That's why there are warnings on the tube not to eat the stuff.

Colgate ad, 1959 in Ebony Magazine
Colgate ad, 1949    
                                      Some herbal toothpastes contain:
  • peppermint oil
  • myrrh
  • plant extract (strawberry extract)
  • special oils and cleansing agents
These ingredients in herbal, or natural, toothpastes, were also used in the 19th century, although instead of pastes, powders were the norm. Most were homemade, with chalk, pulverized brick, or salt as ingredients.  Strawberry was considered to be a "natural" solution for preventing tartar and giving fresh breath.  Charcoal was also very popular for teeth cleaning, as recommended in the 1866 Home Encyclopaedia.  Clove oil was another ingredient – chewing on cloves is said to eliminate tooth ache.

Calvert Toothpaste, UK (1890)
The first 'toothpaste', Dr. Sheffield's Creme Dentifrice in a collapsible lead tube, was manufactured in London from 1892, the idea springing from painters using paint from tubes. Copying Sheffield, Colgate & Company Dental Cream was packaged in collapsible tubes from 1896.  Fluoride, basically a by product of aluminium smelting and still a debatable inclusion, was first added to toothpastes in the 1890s.

Dr Sheffield,s ad, 1905

Arm & Hammer marketed a baking soda-based toothpowder in the United States until about 2000, and Colgate currently markets toothpowder in India and other countries. I still use bi-carb for teeth cleaning now and again – which is also in some modern toothpastes.  One hundred years ago I may have used this tooth powder which your poured from a tin, rather than in a glass jar.

Jewsbury & Brown's Oriental Tooth Powder ad, 1913
Striped toothpaste was invented in New York by Leonard Lawrence Marraffino in 1955, and the patent was later sold to Unilever (originally Lever Brothers, the makers of Sunlight soap). They marketed it with the imaginative name of ‘Stripe’.

Stripe, 1955
There are now nearly fifty manufactures of toothpaste worldwide, with many different products. Some brands have en around for a long time - like Colgate (1890s), Sozodont (1859, first a powder), Stomatol (Swedish from about 1900), Ipana (US, 1901), Lion (Japan, 1918) and Pepsodent (USA, 1920s).

Ipana ad, 1934

Do you have a favourite toothpaste?

More images on tumblr.

Deb xx

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