Last one out of the Kinjaverse, turn out the lights.

Otters Oddities

You know you're a single man when this is what you have in the house for food.

And, I'm sorry to say, but the truthfulness of that last statement isn't true. I'm a single man, and I also have a pack of Oreos and a bag of Doritos! That picture is just what's in my fridge. There's also something in my freezer, but last time I tried to figure out exactly what is was, It growled at me when I started chipping away the frost.

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Actually, it was more of a deep throated rumbling than a growl. I was thinking it could be the fabled Chupacabra, but then I remembered that I killed and ate the last one years ago. Then I started thinking it could be that old Furby I had, but then I remembered, I killed and ate that years ago too.

So, whatever it is that's in my freezer is unknown, and, somehow, alive. Maybe it's a midget Wampa. That would be cool. Imagine how popular you could have been as a child if you brought a tiny wampa to show and tell. How cool is your ant farm now, Joey?

But, no. I jest. I do that a lot, in case you haven't noticed. Growing up, I was always told to be serious. And I responded that I was; serious about being not-serious. Fight the power!

Anyway......the picture up there isn't actually what I have in my house. It's a picture of the ingredients for home made toothpaste.

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People have had teeth for, well....ever. And way back when, someone realized that bad teeth are a bad thing. And one of the things they could do to keep teeth from going bad was to clean them.

For modern humans, it's hard for us to realize, but 10,000 years ago, bad teeth could kill you. If you got a cavity, and it got infected, not only did you run the risk of dying, you also had a monster tooth ache for quite a while. Until the tooth was removed, actually.

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Early primates and austrelopithicans found that chewing on a stick helped keep their mouths from hurting. They passed it on to early humans.

About 6,000 years ago, the Chinese, Indians or Egyptians, (it's hard to know who and when exactly), came up with the idea of using an abrasive substance. Circumstantial evidence puts the responsibility at the feet of the Indians, as they were well known for having sweet breath and white teeth.

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Early toothpastes were nothing like what we use today. They typically were made of twigs, bones, water, salt and some sort of plant to improve the taste, all mashed up into a paste. Some used fine sand or charcoal instead of bone. The problem with sand was, it was too abrasive and rubbed the enamel off.

This paste was then put on the end of a stick and chewed until the stick was frayed, and then rubbed around to clean the teeth.

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While it was crude, it was also effective. And, you could flavor it how you wanted.

The Romans, on the other hand, also believed in dental care, but in a different form. They cared about healthy, white teeth, but less about the freshness of their breath. The main ingredient in their toothpaste was urine.

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Sometime around the dark ages, Europeans sort of forgot about personal hygiene. Bathing was something that church frowned on, so people didn't do it unless it was a very special occasion. Like your wedding. And if they weren't bathing, why brush their teeth, right? Their answer to dental care was to remove the offending tooth when it started to hurt.

It wasn't until the late 17th and early 18th century when the toothbrush came into fashion in Europe. The Chinese had been making bristle brushes out of pig hair for a couple of thousand years, and the French stole their idea.

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The first commercial toothpaste was manufactured in 1873 by Colgate, and they sold it in jars. Tubes didn't show up until 1895. While you could buy toothpaste before Colgate, it was generally produced by the local druggist and quality, flavor and effectiveness varied from shop to shop.

You can find recipes for toothpaste all over the internet if you search. Me? I'll stick with the $3 a tube for something I know won't make me hurl.

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