Friday, September 20, 2013

How to Whiten Your Teeth, 1675

Edward Topsell, The History of
Foure-Footed Beasts

"A Dentrifice to whiten the Teeth. Take of Harts-horn and Horses Teeth, of each two Ounces, Sea-shells, Common Salt, Cypress-Nuts, each one Ounce; burn them together in an Oven, and make a powder, and work it up with the mucilage of Gum Tragacinth, and rub the teeth therewith."

Hannah Woolley, The Accomplish'd Lady's Delight (1675)

Why buy whitening toothpaste when you can make your own? A few treatments with toasted horse teeth and mucilage, and a shimmering smile can be yours!


  1. "mucilage" in this case means to make into a paste, it isn't an ingredient in and of itself. Just FYI
    Below is a dictionary from 1790 containing the term

  2. Well, who knew, thanks for sharing. I can see how the abrasiveness would help remove stains.