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Originally formulated in 1932 by pharmacist Alberto Ferreira do Couto, this toothpaste was the first in Portugal to actively prevent cavities and gum problems, rather than just scrub at the teeth with random ground-up powders. Made with just a handful of ingredients, Couto toothpaste is still widely used in Portugal, sitting handsomely on many a bathroom shelf despite competition from ever-flashier, impossibly additive-laden modern commercial toothpastes.
In the 1800s, toothpaste was formulated by doctors and chemists with little apparent concern for customer satisfaction. Victorian toothpaste was powdered and abrasive, made with things like brick powder and ground cuttlefish. It was not a vast improvement from the ground oyster shells and powdered burnt ox hooves of the ancient Romans and Egyptians.
In its day, Couto was among the first to move from harsh, grating powders to a smooth paste using a mild glycerin base. With a minty taste, it was pleasant rather than repulsive, and notably effective in preventing the cavities and gingivitis that Alberto Ferreira do Couto hoped to eradicate from every Portuguese mouth. Contains no fluoride or parabens.
Couto is very minty and a little goes a long way. Brush two or three times a day with a good toothbrush.