Oral hygiene in the Old West? Absolutely! What did they use for toothpaste?–homemade or from the mercantile (or catalog)? This article is rich in historical resources about toothpowders, toothpaste, toothbrushes, when they were patented, and what they were made of.
Twenty-first century people have it easy. In fact, most of us don’t know how to make soap–much less the ingredients (found on the Old West homestead) that should be saved in the process of living so that soap could be made. Soap did become readily available through catalog orders, but it cost money, and the more remove a settler, or the earlier a man or family found themselves on a frontier, the dirty, hot job of soap making was a necessary one. This article sheds light on the process, basic ingredients, methodology, as well as the rise of commercially prepared soap products.