For fresh mouths, look back in time

If you’re looking for fresh, fragrant breath, healthy gums and beautiful teeth, listen to word of mouth.

Toothbrushing tools date back to 3500-3000 BC when Egyptians made simple, natural brushes by fraying the end of a twig. Journeying even further back to 5000 BC, Egyptians are believed to have started using a paste to clean their teeth (after 1500 years of sticky fingers, toothbrushes were probably a very welcome invention).

Unravelling the detailed tapestry of historical mouth care reveals many ingredients that are frequently found on toothbrushes today.

Boom! That’s not just the sound of you exploding with the knowledge that your toothpaste benefits from the thousands of years of previous brushing. It’s also the name of an innovative toothy tab that packs a punch. Here’s four ingredients found inside that have been time-tested...


By the time of the Romans, crushed oyster shells were added to the powdered mixtures to provide (very, very strong) abrasion. To offset the likely unappealing taste, they also introduced flavourings in the form of powdered charcoal and bark. Fear not, you’ll only find charcoal in your toothy tabs and tooth powder recipes; they’re all vegan! Activated charcoal is a fantastic component in Boom! It is an alternative to microplastics that helps to remove plaque from the surface of the teeth as you brush. Approximately 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic are clogging the world's oceans; 92% of these are believed to be microplastics.

Fine Sea Salt

In China and India around 500 BC there is evidence of sophisticated flavourings including ginseng and salt. Fine sea salt is rich in minerals which are beneficial for the gums and gently removes debris from the teeth. Brushing with salt also stimulates saliva, your mouth’s natural antibacterial barrier.

Powdered Gunpowder Tea

Ancient Chinese and Japanese medicine promoted the healing power of green tea. More recently, the remineralising effects of tea have made it a popular ingredient for promoting dental hygiene. Gunpowder tea - a type of green tea originating in Zhejiang province, China - is full of beneficial antioxidants, helping keep your gums healthy and preventing tooth decay. It is also great at keeping your breath appealingly fresh. In Boom! it’s powdered and pressed which means you can carry a tab with you to work, school or out playing.

Black pepper oil

Black pepper has antimicrobial properties and brushing with fine ground black pepper was traditionally used in cases of tooth decay and toothache. According to an ancient Egyptian recipe, one drachma (which equates to one-hundredth of an ounce) of rock salt should be mixed with two drachmas of mint, one drachma of dried iris flower and 20 grains of pepper for the ultimate winning smile.

So, although you might ignore your mum’s wishes that you brush your teeth properly, you’re still listening to the mummies of Ancient Egypt… and there’s plenty of reasons to smile about it!

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about 3 years ago

very informative and interesting.