Showing posts with label Breath Mints. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Breath Mints. Show all posts

Jul 4, 2012

Origin of Breath Mints

Bad breath in ancient Egypt often was a symptom of poor dental health. Seems the stones they used to grind flour for bread contributed a lot of sand and grit to their diet, which wore down tooth enamel to expose the pulp of the tooth and making it vulnerable to infection.

The Egyptians didn't have dentists to fix their deteriorating teeth and gums. Instead, they simply suffered, and scientists who examined mummies have found severely worn teeth and evidence of abscesses, even in youthful Egyptians. To cope with the unpleasant odors from their rotting mouths, Egyptians invented the first mints, which were a combination of frankincense, myrrh and cinnamon boiled with honey and shaped into pellets.

Archaeologists also found toothpicks buried alongside mummies, apparently placed there so that they could clean food debris from between their teeth in the afterlife. Along with the Babylonians, they're also credited with inventing the first toothbrushes, which were frayed ends of wooden twigs.

The Egyptians also contributed toothpaste. Early ingredients included the powder of ox hooves, ashes, burnt eggshells and pumice. They also found what appears to be a more advanced toothpaste recipe and how-to-brush guide written on papyrus that dates back to the Roman occupation in the fourth century A.D. It explains how to mix precise amounts of rock salt, mint, dried iris flower, and grains of pepper, to form a "powder for white and perfect teeth"