This excursion into American cultural history looks at the toothpaste and toothbrush industries from 1900 to 2008. During these years, America moved from a nation of people who mostly cleaned their teeth with homemade powders to one that used such professional names as Colgate Platinum Whitening Toothpaste, often applied with an electric toothbrush. From early 20th century products like Forhan's (which 'cured' pyorrhea) to the whiteners of the 1920s (which unfortunately also removed tooth enamel), and from paste that eliminated 'that clinging film' and to copywriters who 'wondered where the yellow went', the history of toothpaste has long been a testament to the power of false and misleading advertising. Interrupting this steady flow of hyperbole was the one true wonder ingredient: Fluoride, which enabled Crest to predominate for decades as America's top-selling brand.
Prolific entertainment-media researcher Kerry Segrave has authored numerous works of social history from McFarland. His books have covered such topics as drive-in theaters, lie detectors, jukeboxes, smoking, shoplifting and ticket-scalping. He lives in British Columbia.