Centuries ago, way before the advent of chlorophyll, people drank goats milk to sweeten their breath. They also thought ashes from burnt mice heads, ox heels and goat feet would benefit the gums.
Primitive Oral Hygiene Resembled Witchcraft Remedies
Many oral hygiene practices resembled witchcraft remedies. One was picking bones out of wolves’ excrement and wearing them as protection against toothaches. Washing teeth three times a year with tortoise blood was also considered a remedy against toothache.
Early mouthwashes were pure white wine (hmm) or old urine saved especially for this purpose (yuk).
One toothpaste recipe from the 1700s contained an ounce and a half of both dragon blood and cinnamon, plus one ounce of burnt alum. (Where did they get dragon blood then?)
Paul Revere Put Sugar in Toothpaste
Paul Revere, a man of many talents, made toothpaste from brown sugar candy, saltpeter, gunpowder, butter and breadcrumbs. It’s easy to see why he also did a big business providing false teeth.
The 1855 Farmers Almanac gave this recipe for toothpaste: one ounce of myrrh, two spoonfuls of honey and a pinch of green sage. It was to be used every night “on wet teeth.” Another toothpaste recipe combined cuttlefish bone, cream of tartar and clover oil.
Chocolate Toothpaste Gift Set
We know today that such ingredients as brown sugar and honey cause cavities. Or do we?
“Have you ever tried to brush your teeth with chocolate?”
That was part of the marketing spiel for a “hazelnut chocolate toothpaste gift set” that includes toothpaste, a toothbrush and eight chocolates. Made in Italy by Regione Piemonte, it might taste good, but it won’t prevent cavities.
There’s a “Toothpaste Party Store” online. There you will find both Scotch and Bourbon toothpaste with real alcoholic content (3%). There is also a British import, Wellington’s Whisky Flavoured Toothpaste, which is touted as “the refreshing morning-after pick up.”
Neiman-Marcus Hops on Flavor Wagon
Neiman-Marcus is on the flavor wagon, too, with its Bourbon and Scotch toothpaste. There is also champagne toothpaste from England. Another Neiman-Marcus offering is a “California Wine Toothpaste Kit” with Chablis, Burgundy and extra-dry champagne flavored toothpastes. They also have an “After Dinner Toothpaste Kit” featuring crème de menthe, amaretto and anisette flavored toothpastes, as well as a “Cordially Yours Toothpaste Kit” with crème de café, irish cream and peppermint schnapps flavors.