How did people maintain their teeth before toothpaste?

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How did people maintain their teeth before toothpaste?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

My mom grew up in a small South American country. They used bristly-edged plants kinda like toothbrushes. No toothpaste. My mother & her siblings all have very good teeth – never a cavity, never even a bit of discoloration.

That’s cuz good teeth are selected for through evolution. If you didn’t have good teeth, you died young from tooth infections. It was a common cause of death in the past, and continues to be in some parts of the world.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Modern toothpaste is relatively new but rudimentary abrasive tooth powders have been around for millennia.

Toothpaste isn’t nearly as important to oral health as simply brushing your teeth in the first place, even with plain water or a herbal mixture. Toothbrushes have also been around for thousands of years.

Anonymous 0 Comments

We didn’t need it quite as much before we invented processed sugar.

Just brushing with water or whatever worked well enough.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Baking soda, according to my mum.

It didn’t seem to work very well. Everyone I’ve met in their generation has countless cavities and fillings.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I have an aversion to toothpaste; something about it just makes my mouth itchy and uncomfortable so I just brush my teeth with water and it works just fine. The act of brushing is much more important than anything else.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I had an interesting chat with my dental hygentist about that.

She explaines that by FAR – the most important aspect is the brushing. Toothpaste is a “nice to have” – but you can maintain your teeth and gums without it as long as you brush well.

Side note: That question prompted the dental office to put “Brushing instruction – $20” on my bill. I’m still pissed off about that.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They used to use oak twigs to brush teeth up until industrial times. Apparently oak sap has anti biotic effects that kept the mouth cleaner and the tannins work on the gums and tongue.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In India (presumably all over South Asia) you can easily get neem twigs to use as toothbrushes. Apart from gathering them yourself, you can buy them on train station platforms, among other places.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I think the most simple answer really depends on the culture. There are so many alternatives to toothpaste that do not require any production or technology.

I believe one of the most common ones is charcoal, when used properly it will have the same effect as any toothpaste. I have also heard about coconut oil, some types of clay and even salt. Some cultures even use plant fibres as brushes and floss! I am also pretty sure that before toothpaste became standard, most 1st world countries were using baking soda – very cheap and effective.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Brushing does more than the toothpaste. That aside, lack of sugar, harder breads, less chemically dense breads. Most things that were not water, were alcoholic, or very acidic, which helped kill a lot of certain germs.