Recently, on a short trip to New Hampshire, I visited a place called Castle in the Clouds. A historic 16-room mansion built in the early 20th century, the estate is located high in the magnificent Ossippe Mountain Range.

While viewing the historic home, I was fascinated to see a tube of toothpaste on display.  I was intrigued by this historic relic, not just because I am a dentist, but also because of the small size of this toothpaste tube in comparison to those of present day.  When I returned home I decided to do a bit of research.

Prior to the invention of toothpaste, tooth powders, along with toothpicks and brushes, were used to clean teeth. In the 1850s, a Connecticut dentist named Dr. Washington Sheffield created the very first version of tooth paste: a tooth creme with mint extracts.  He used the tooth paste on his patients and demand for it grew.

Dr. Sheffield’s son, Lucius, joined the family business and traveled to Paris to study dental surgery. While there he observed artists squeezing paint from collapsible tubes. Lucius suggested to his father that packaging toothpaste in a similar tube would be both more convenient and more hygienic. Because, up until that point, people dipped their brushes into the paste — sometimes numerous family members’ brushes all dipping into the same jar! Dr. Sheffield agreed with his son and in 1892, he developed America’s first toothpaste tube. The first tubes were much smaller and made of tin– we’ve come a long way!

Choose Riverdale Park Dental for Your Next Appointment

Our team of expertly-trained staff is dedicated to giving our clients the best possible dental care. Dr. Tricia Boyce, who has been in the dental industry for over 18 years, is well-versed in all matters of dentistry. Riverdale Park Dental serves the Riverdale Park, Maryland and surrounding areas, such as College Park,  Hyattsville and Lanham MD. Book an appointment now and experience the difference when it comes to excellent oral care. If you are new to the area or just looking for a new professional and experienced dentist, choose Riverdale. Contact Riverdale Park Dental today!

Pictures from Castle in the Clouds

Riverdale Park Dental provides comprehensive dental care for the entire family. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is committed to understanding and meeting your needs. Print out your forms online and contact us to set up your appointment with Riverdale Park Dental. Let’s create smiles that last a lifetime.