Brushing Teeth With urine.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this. The story goes that people used to brush their teeth with urine, supposedly due to the high ammonia content. The story goes so far as to include people actually selling their urine for the sole purpose of dental care. This point in particular makes me question the practice. I couldn’t find anything in the archives and only shoddy stuff on the 'net. What’s the Dope on this subject. Did people ever really brush their teeth with urine?

I think I’d just stick to using my finger. :smiley:

It’s all over the place as a factoid, usually stating that the Romans used urine as a toothpaste and a mouthwash. A slightly more detailed cite is the following:

From here:

For some other uses of urine for medical purposes, read the Straight Dope column:

Why are men supposed to wash their hands after urination? Plus: urine therapy! (12-Jan-1996)

The column and the accompanying Slug Signorino illustrations can also be found in the book The Straight Dope Tells All.

If you do choose to try it, please remember, “You’ll wonder where the yellow went, when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent”.

Yeah, I remember reading that urine therapy column, Arnold. I’ll make sure to drink beer all night before I try that one, instead of early in the morning. :smiley:

Well, there’s a poem by Catullus (c. 84-54 BC) in which he makes fun of a Spaniard who allegedly brushes his teeth with urine. Catullus evidently finds this as weird and gross as we would, so I assume the practice wasn’t common among Romans, at least not at that time.

I’ll see if I can find a translation and post a link to it; it’s a kick-ass poem.

Democritus, you could try it & report back the results for us :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Makes me wonder what they put in Pearl Drops.