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  • The average UK citizen will brush their teeth over 40,000 times in a lifetime

  • using a staggering 80 liters of toothpaste.

  • And such a routine parts of our everyday lives,

  • but there is only I think about it is when it runs out.

  • Now that’s a shame because toothpaste is fascinating stuff.

  • Tooth care remedies have been around for thousands of years.

  • The world’s oldest surviving formula is Egyptian

  • and it was made from mint, flowers, salt and pepper.

  • It dates to the 5th century AD and by all accounts it worked very well.

  • Although it did have the nasty side effects of making your gums bleed.

  • Having said that, it was far less hazardous than some 20th century brands.

  • In the 2nd world war, German scientists from the nuclear industry

  • developed a radioactive toothpaste with thorium for the domestic home market.

  • It cleans. It kills germs. It’s radioactive.

  • Fantastic!

  • Now why didn't that catch on?

  • Say thorium wasn’t a great idea but other additives were much more successful.

  • In 1901, a dentist in Colorado Springs noticed that locals had far fewer cavities than was the norm.

  • The reason was eventually tracked down to high natural levels of fluoride in the water.

  • From this basic observation, fluoride quickly became the dental one additive of choice.

  • So what goes into modern toothpaste?

  • How does it work?

  • Well the number one ingredient is something abrasive.

  • You know something to scrub the pearly whites

  • For this, toothpaste manufacturers typically use baking soda or chalk or even silica which is a refined type of sand

  • and many add whitener, flavouring, something to make it foam.

  • Something to bind it all together and finally fluoride.

  • Now did you know you can make your own toothpaste out of simple household ingredients?

  • For this recipe, all you need to do is mix three tablespoons of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of salt.

  • Then add three teaspoons of glycerin.

  • Mix them all together with a dash of water.

  • And finally add 1 teaspoon of peppermint and hey presto!

  • Do it yourself toothpaste.

  • For a proper test of its effectiveness,

  • I’m going to stain my teeth with licorice.

  • I have some very sugary pop.

  • Now it firms them up.

  • Now my teeth feel awful so let’s put this home-made toothpaste to the test.

  • I feel that! Gosh! Seriously, feel good. I feel much better.

  • It tastes quite minty, very abrasive.

  • It’s incredibly salty but it’s cleaning my teeth.

  • I feel so much better.

  • How about my teeth looks a little bit cleaner?

  • Hmm. Home-made toothpaste! It works!

The average UK citizen will brush their teeth over 40,000 times in a lifetime

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