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 and around the globe 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. The success of this family business was guaranteed due to the product’s quality; still today for the elders in Portugal saying “Couto Paste” is synonymous with toothpaste. The small production is still in the hands of the last heir of the Coutos, Alberto Gomes da Silva and yet semi-artisanal. In its day, Couto was among the first to move from harsh, grating powders to a smooth paste using a mild glycerine base. With a minty taste, it was and it is pleasant rather than repulsive, and notably effective in preventing problems of the mouth, containing no fluoride or parabens. The packaging is still the original one, with that retro twist that made it iconic.