STYLE & BEAUTY
05/14/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

How People Brushed Their Teeth In The Olden Days

Thousands of years ago, people wanted to keep their teeth and gums clean, their breath fresh and their teeth white, just like people do today. They found different tools with which to do it.

Before toothbrushes, people used rough cloth and water to clean their teeth. They would also rub things like salt and chalk across their teeth to try to get rid of the grime.

The ancient Egyptians made a kind of brush by splitting the end of a twig. And the ancient Chinese chewed on twigs with a special flavor to freshen their breath.

People also used forms of toothpaste that they made out of ingredients you probably wouldn't want to put in your mouth.

Sometimes a powder was made of the ashes of ox hooves and burned eggshells. The ancient Greeks and Romans used materials such as crushed oyster shells and bones.

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