When was toothpaste invented?
The earliest dentists known are the Egyptians. 5000 years BC they managed to produce toothpaste in powder form. The powder consisted of abrasives such as crushed beef heads, pumice stone, crushed eggshells and myrrh. It is not known for sure how this powder was used, but archeologists presume that the Egyptians cleaned their gums by rubbing the powder on their teeth with their fingers.
The ancient Romans and Greeks used broken charcoal and bark to clean their teeth.
The Romans used various herbs in order to fight against bad breath smells. After the Romans, dental hygiene did not develop for the next 1200 years. Only around 1700, European and American doctors, dentists and chemists began to develop modern forms of toothpowder. Tartaric soda was the main ingredient in most of the mixtures and many of them contained substances like brick powder which could be directly harmful to their health.
At the beginning of the 19th century, it was found that adding glycerin to dental powder made the toothpaste more hygenic and healthy. The toothpaste became more tasty in time for commercial purposes.
In 1873 Colgate sent the first mass-produced toothpaste on the market. It was sold in cans. By 1892 it has been sold in tubes as we use it today.
You may read the history of toothpaste at the official website of the Colgate company.