There were also abrasive powders that could be rubbed on teeth by means of a towel to whiten them, but some were too abrasive and damaged tooth enamel.
What? You don't want to hear about this?
Well, unfortunately for you, mint toothpaste won't be invented until around 1877 when William Colgate invents the version of toothpaste we know today. And it won't be until 1907 that William Wrigley, Jr. reveals his spearmint flavoured gum, and advertises it in many newspapers.
Okay, what about a dentist in town? Should you ask someone where you can find one? Would HE (no, a woman can't be a dentist in the 1800s, silly) have something for you to try?
In the mid-1800s, dentistry was still something fairly new. Only the wealthy could afford to go to a dentist and the poor had to resort to having their teeth pulled, probably by the town's blacksmith who had the tools for such a job - without the aid of painkillers.
There were no professional regulations for dentists, but soon pressure from the public wanting some kind of oversight increased. Patients needed to know they would receive the best dental care possible for the time.
And by the way, according to American Mint, one pound of mint oil can flavour 40,000 sticks of chewing gum or between 1,000 to 1,5000 tubes of toothpaste.
And now you know.