Did ancient romans brush their teeth with urine?

Assuming you would like an introduction to the historical practice of ancient Romans brushing their teeth with urine:

The historical practice of ancient Romans brushing their teeth with urine dates back to the 1st century AD. The urea in urine was thought to have antiseptic properties. This practice continued until the 18th century when the practice was replaced with the use of soap.

No, ancient Romans did not brush their teeth with urine.

Did Romans clean teeth with urine?

The Romans used to buy bottles of Portuguese urine and use that as a rinse. GROSS! Importing bottled urine became so popular that the emperor Nero taxed the trade. The ammonia in urine was thought to disinfect mouths and whiten teeth, and urine remained a popular mouthwash ingredient until the 18th century.

The ancient Romans were also known to practice dental hygiene. They used frayed sticks and abrasive powders to brush their teeth. These powders were made from ground-up hooves, pumice, eggshells, seashells, and ashes. While we may not use the same ingredients to brush our teeth today, the ancient Romans were definitely ahead of their time in terms of taking care of their teeth!

What did the ancient Romans use urine for

The ancient Romans found urine to be a valuable cleaning product because of its ammonia content. They used it to wash clothes and even whiten teeth. Like all valuable products, there was a scheme to tax it. Emperor Vespasian (r. 69-79 CE) introduced a tax on urine, which was collected by public urinals. The urine was then sold to tanners and launderers.

On the other hand, the Greeks and Romans were more abrasive with their toothpaste ingredients. The Greeks used crushed bones and oyster shells to create a powder to clean their teeth. Later on, the Romans enhanced it and added some flavoring to help bad breath, along with powdered charcoal and bark.

What did Romans use for toilet paper?

If you needed to use the restroom in ancient Rome, you would not have had any toilet paper. Instead, you may have used a tersorium, which was a sponge on a stick. These ancient devices consisted of a stick with a sponge that was soaked in vinegar or salt water. They were often shared!

The Vikings were known for their strong teeth, and it is believed that they used picks to clean the gaps between their teeth. They may also have used fibrous hazel twigs and similar tools as a kind of brush. The Viking skeletons discovered over the decades have usually had relatively strong teeth too.

How did Romans have perfect teeth?

While the ancient Romans didn’t have access to modern dentistry, they did have strong, healthy teeth thanks to the lack of sugar in their diet. Sugar is a major contributor to tooth decay and cavities, so by avoiding it, the Romans were able to keep their teeth healthy and strong.

Tersoria, a communal Roman toilet, allowed users to clean themselves with human urine, which is full of ammonia and other chemicals that are great natural detergents. This took the idea of “communal” toilets to a whole new level!

Did Romans get cavities

There is evidence to suggest that the Romans might have had better periodontal health than modern people, but it is also true that they had a high risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Their grain-based diet and penchant for sweets meant that oral bacteria thrived in their mouths.

Bathing was a custom introduced to Italy from Greece towards the end of the 3rd century BC. Early Romans washed their arms and legs everyday, which were dirty from working, but only washed their whole bodies every nine days. This was because they believed that it was bad for their health to bathe too often.

Were Roman baths sanitary?

Bathing was a communal activity in the Roman Empire. The largest known baths could take 3000 people at a time, clean and dirty, healthy and sick. People did not use soap, but preferred to be slathered in oil and scraped clean with a curved implement called a strigil.

Did you know that the average life expectancy for a man in Ancient Rome was only about 40 years old? That’s quite a bit shorter than the average life expectancy for a Roman today, which is around 73 years old. And the average height for a Roman back then was also shorter than it is today, at only 5’5″!

Why are there no toilet seats in Italy

Most Italian public toilets don’t have a toilet seat. This has to do with maintenance. Since public toilets are often less than spotless, people often climb with their shoes on top of them, not to sit on a potentially dirty seat.

Mexicans typically do not flush toilet paper in their septic tanks. This is because the septic tanks are much smaller than those in the United States. In rural areas, the septic tanks are even smaller, so flushing toilet paper would require the septic tank to be cleaned more frequently.

Were Roman baths unisex?

It was considered to be in poor taste for men and women to bathe together in Roman bath houses. Each had their own designated time at the bath house. For instance, woman may have been allowed in the bath houses in the morning while men came in in the afternoon.

Natural toothcare has been used by many cultures for centuries. Native Americans used chewsticks and fresh herbs to cleanse their teeth and gums. Chewsticks were twigs that had two uses: one end was frayed by a rock and used for brushing, while the other end was sharpened and used as a toothpick. Today, there are many natural toothpastes and toothbrushes available that are made with natural ingredients and are gentle on the teeth and gums.


There is not enough evidence to say definitively whether or not ancient Romans brushed their teeth with urine. However, there are some references in ancient texts to the use of urine for dental hygiene. For example, the Natural History of Pliny the Elder mentions that urine was used as a mouthwash.

Although there is no clear evidence, it is most likely that ancient Romans did not brush their teeth with urine. Even though some scientists believe that urine contains ammonia, which can be effective in killing bacteria, it is not a safe or pleasant way to clean teeth. There are other methods, such as using a twig or cloth, that would probably be more effective and less disgusting.

Ellen Hunter is a passionate historian who specializes in the history of Rome. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe to explore its ancient sites and monuments, seeking to uncover their hidden secrets.

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