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Nothing but the tooth: A History of Tooth Powders and Pastes
by Staff
Take this quiz to learn more about how people brushed their teeth before toothpaste.

What is tooth powder?

  • A dentifrice
  • A precipice
  • A detriment

Who are the first people known to use tooth powder?

  • Egyptians
  • Greeks
  • Native Americans

What ingredients were used in the Egyptian's tooth powder?

  • animal hooves and ashes
  • sand and honey
  • salt and ground bones

What was added to tooth powders to turn them into a paste?

  • glucose
  • glycerin
  • gluten

Dentists would frown on this popular tooth powder ingredient:

  • lead
  • sugar
  • chalk

What did the Greeks and Romans use as a recipe for tooth powder?

  • crushed bones and oyster shells
  • ground coins and sand
  • pumice and honey

What ingredients did the Romans add to help with bad breath?

  • charcoal
  • baking soda
  • salt

What did the Persians caution their people about when it came to oral hygiene?

  • wearing away enamel
  • gingivitis
  • plague

What did the Chinese include in their recipes?

  • ginseng
  • jasmine
  • garlic

Who put toothpaste into a collapsible tube?

  • Dr. Sheffield
  • Dr. Gupta
  • Dr. Sandler

Dr. Sheffield's company later became:

  • Colgate-Palmolive
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Johnson & Johnson

Our grandparents may have used this household ingredient as a tooth powder:

  • flour
  • baking soda
  • baking powder

When did toothpaste finally catch on in the U.S.?

  • after World War II
  • after the Great Depression
  • during the Roaring Twenties

Name the most significant addition to toothpaste:

  • fluoride
  • minty flavors
  • whitening agents

When were toothpowders introduced to the market in Britain?

  • 1600s
  • 1700s
  • 1800s

What ingredient produced a foaming effect?

  • Borax
  • soap
  • ashes

Which of these ingredients was NOT included in the toothpowders of the 18th century?

  • brick dust
  • crushed china
  • gold dust

Who is likeliest to pack tooth powders today?

  • hikers
  • celebrities
  • runners

Tooth powders contain three main ingredients: an abrasive, a detergent, and a ______.

  • foaming agent
  • flavoring
  • mineral

Where is Colgate tooth powder sold today?

  • New Zealand
  • India
  • Japan