There are many brands of toothpaste in the market available today, such as Colgate, Darlie, Fresh and white, Aquafresh, Sensodyne etc, all with different ingredients serving different purposes such as teeth whitening and fighting tooth sensitivity; but their main function is to fight decay. So how did the toothpaste first come about?
Pepsodent: the beginning
Pepsodent was a popular brand of toothpaste back in the mid-20th century. It was probably introduced in the earlier parts of the 20th century as a dentrifice in powder form, but eventually took on the recent-day paste form. Pepsodent was owned by the company Unilever, a British and Dutch company that sells an assortment of consumer products throughout the world, and was advertised through commercials and ads to be able to fight tooth decay and whiten teeth. Its most popular slogan was the catchy phrase, “you’ll wonder where the yellow went, when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent”, as evident in the youtube video below. Pepsodent was well-known for its minty flavor derived from sassafras, and was claimed to contain the key ingredients:
- Irium is actually sodium lauryl sulphate, a type of surfactant (detergent) that is commonly found in toothpastes nowadays. Lauryl sulphates help to clean teeth and provide foam that helps to carry away debris. It also has antibacterial properties and can penetrate and dissolve plaque.
- The other ingredient, “I.M.P” was purpoted to whiten teeth. What its letters individually stand for remains unknown. Continue reading