Colgate’s 5 Good Rules for Good Teeth and Good Health, 1923

Safe-Keeping your teeth by the Colgate Method.

1923 ad for Colgate Ribbon Dental Cream

An instructional ad appeared in the February 1923 issue of the Woman’s Home Companion magazine. The ad is for Colgate’s Ribbon Dental Cream, an early version of toothpaste that was popular in the early part of the century. I love the detailed illustration of the 1920′s packaging and the tube it came in!

There are five rules for good teeth and good health presented here. So basically it is like a 1920′s primer on how to brush your teeth! In case you’ve been wondering if you’re brushing your teeth in a correct vintage manner, here are the rules:

Rule 1

Rule 1: “Wash” your teeth thoroughly. Don’t scour them. Washing cleans safely. “Scouring” cleans harmfully. Scouring scratches the enamel, the enamel protects the teeth, and you can’t grow new enamel! Colgate’s Ribbon Dental Cream contains no harsh grit. It cleanses and polishes by washing without scouring.



Rule 2

Rule 2: “Wash” your teeth after each meal. When you eat, particles of food lodge between and around the teeth. Remove them promptly before they ferment in the high temperature of the mouth. Fermenting food causes cavities in the teeth. A clean tooth doesn’t decay. “Wash” your teeth regularly, carefully, and thoroughly. Wash them just before going to bed.


Rule 3 Rule 3: Use a safe dental cream. Powerful drugs in a dentifrice injure the mouth and throat. Avoid any dentifrice so strong that it cannot be used safely several times a day. Select an established, tried-and-tested dentifrice with a reputation for merit. You can use Colgate’s during a long life without in the slightest degree injuring the enamel of the teeth.


Rule 4 Rule 4: As advised by many dentists, after you use the tooth brush, finish the cleansing by rubbing both upper and lower gums with the tip of the forefinger covered with Colgate’s Ribbon Dental Cream. That massage helps to keep the gums firm and healthy.



Rule 5 Rule 5: Some people try to doctor themselves, but even they don’t attempt to be their own dentist. See your dentist regularly, twice a year at least.



So, how well does your tooth care match up with Colgate’s vintage advice?

Colgate's Ribbon Dental Cream, 1923

Below is the complete ad:

The complete Colgate's advertisement, 1923

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