So many of us use mouthwash as part of our daily routine. I do! I live far enough out that I only get in to visit the dentist once a year so I use some to help keep down plaque build up.
I wondered about it so went looking for the history of mouthwashes. I discovered it has a very long history and is much older than I thought.
The history turns out to be quite fascinating.
1. Back around 1 AD, Romans bought Portuguese urine to use a mouthwash. In fact, so much urine was sold, the government started taxing it.
2. A few years later, they used turtle blood, goats milk, or wine a few times a year to keep their teeth clean.
3. By the mid 12th century, they were recommending plain cold water swished around the mouth to help.
4. In the 16th century a mixture of mint and vinegar was proscribed to fight bad breath and germs.
5. Today's modern mouthwashes came about in the 19th century when they added alcohol to the mixtures to fight bad breath and vinegar. It is during this time period that Listerine was developed.
6. Currently Sodium hexametephosphate and hydrogen peroxide are the key ingredient in mouthwashes.
Now for the 10 little known facts and uses of Listerine.
1. Listerine was originally created as a a general germicide and surgical antiseptic. It was named after Joseph Lister who figured out how to kill germs.
2. In its distilled form, it was sold as a floor cleaner.
3. In the 1920's through the use of advertising, it became known for killing the germs that cause bad breath.
4. It supposedly gets rid of dandruff.
5. At one point Listerine produced its own brand of cigarettes and advertised that you "can smoke Listerine".
6. They claim to have inspired vaccines and that is true. In 2008, scientists came up with a vaccine based on the breath strips.
7. Dab a bit on acne because it kills the bacteria that causes acne.
8. It can be used to eliminate fleas by adding it to pet shampoo or as a half water/half Listerine spray.
9. Use it as a deodorant. Just put on a cotton ball and dab your arm pits.
10. Soak your toothbrush in Listerine for 20 minutes to sanitize it.