One of the first example of people using a liquid as a mouthwash to freshen their breath was by rinsing their mouth with a glass of donkey's milk. The problem was that everyone did not own a donkey. The Romans discovered that ammonia had good anti-bacteria properties, but at that time there was only one known source of it. It was found in urine and the main source of urine was from human. So the Romans used human urine as mouthwash. Incredible. Today ammonia is still one of the ingredients in mouthwash and it has been replaced by alcohol in some brands. The first antiseptic mouthwash did not appear on the market until 1893.
Again, it was the Egyptians who came up with the idea of using something on the toothbrush to improve the cleaning of the teeth and at the same time remove bad breath. They made a powdered mixture consisted of rock salt, mint, and pepper. The mixture was mixed with saliva and applied to the gum. The downside to using this was the same old problem of bleeding gum. Persians also gave it a shot of making toothpaste. They tried making toothpaste from the ashes from burnt goat's feet. This also led to gum bleeding and widespread diseases. Obviously, a lot of people died from this. In the eighteen-century, the British also tried their hands at making toothpaste. The toothpaste was made of brick dust, crushed china, and nitric acid, yes nitric acid! This toothpaste caused serious erosion of the tooth enamel. I http://morichesdentalassociates.com/dental-implants/ do not think this toothpaste stay around long.
By the nineteen-century, there were several types of toothpaste available. There was a toothpaste in particular made from, believe it or not, charcoal powder. They must had to put up a "No smoking" sign somewhere before brushing. Can you imagine seeing a sign saying, "No smoking brushing teeth is in progress"? A lot of these toothpastes were designed to make the teeth cleaner and whiter and at the same time leave the user with a fresher breath.