Modern Toothpaste Isn't All That Different From Ancient Tooth Cleaners

Modern Toothpaste Isn't All That Different From Ancient Tooth Cleaners

Ancient toothpaste was often just abrasive particles of pumice, shell, or bone designed to scrape gunk off of a person's teeth. Modern toothpaste looks a lot creamier than a handful of ground-up shell, but in fact, it also contains abrasive ingredients for the same reason. Find out more about what goes into your toothpaste, and discover how to make your own, in the video below.

What's In Your Toothpaste?

That long ingredients list basically comes down to seven categories—including sweeteners?

The History of Toothpaste

Toothpaste goes back centuries.

03:29

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The average U.K. citizen will go through 80 liters of toothpaste in their lifetime. (0:03)

  • 2

    During World War II, German scientists developed radioactive toothpaste made with thorium. (0:49)

  • 3

    Learn how to make toothpaste at home: (2:01)

Here's Why Toothpaste Makes Orange Juice Taste Terrible

It comes down to specific interactions between the toothpaste and your taste buds.

02:29

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Toothpaste contains a chemical that temporarily gets rid of phospholipid molecules. (1:06)

  • 2

    The compound miraculin binds sweet receptors so they only respond to acids. (1:18)

  • 3

    Temperature, texture and smell can change what you sense too. (1:50)

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