11 Forgotten Toothpastes!
Some brands last for decades, some brands fade like a breath mint. Let’s open the medicine cabinet to peek at how people cleaned their pearly whites. These toothpastes date from the 1950s to 1980s. Some of them involved famous cartoon actors and packaging gimmicks.
Did you use any of these minty fresh brands?
1. Avon Smoker’s Tooth Paste
Perhaps ashy gray was not the best packaging color?
Gleem went after the busy set, claiming it was the toothpaste of “people who can’t brush after every meal.” In 1963 a group called the League Against Obnoxious TV Commercials formed and in May put a Gleem ad on its 10 worst list. It’s hard to see what they hated so much from Gleem commercials of the era, but we’re guessing it was the boys not listening to their mothers.
3. Great Zeeth’s Mighty White
The voice of “Mighty Zeeth” was none other than Mel Blanc! He was far more than the Looney Tunes characters.
With a name evocative of a Greek isle, Kolynos was massive in pre-war U.S.A. It’s even mentioned in Catcher in the Rye: “There was this empty box of Kolynos toothpaste outside Leahy and Hoffman’s door…” They went after the kiddies with strange caps that looks like heads, sort of like the Pez of toothpastes, if you will.
While far more popular in the U.K. and Australia, Beecham’s Macleans managed to capture some of the market (briefly becoming the fourth most popular brand) in the States during the cosmetic toothpaste boom of the mid-’60s.
Space toothpaste! Up in space, astronauts can not spit, so scientists developed this foamless “ingestible toothpaste.” It was put on the commercial market as NASAdent in the early 1980s.
8. Pearl Drops Tooth Polish
Something about Pearl Drops just seems so ’70s and ’80s. Perhaps because it gave your enamel the bling of a disco ball or neon light.
Before there was Aquafresh, there was Stripe, the nifty striated paste that came out of the tube looking like a candy mint. Kids loved the stuff, and not just because of the free “rocket balloon” that once came with it.
10. Ultra Brite
Launched in 1967, this Colgate brand was aimed at the mouths of Boomer teens. It’s still on the market today, though no longer goes after the kiss-crazy youth crowd.
Perhaps this was meant to instill civic pride? Or maybe it was branded for those ever smiling politicians. The packaging did read “The Adult Toothpaste.” We wonder if one needed I.D. to purchase.