Couto Toothpaste

Minty, effective, natural paste. Fluoride- and paraben-free. Originally formulated by a pharmacist in 1932. In a travel-friendly 2.1 oz tube. Made in Portugal. (more info)

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  • Couto Toothpaste - Kaufmann Mercantile1
  • Couto Toothpaste - Kaufmann Mercantile2
  • Couto Toothpaste - Kaufmann Mercantile3
Couto Toothpaste - Kaufmann Mercantile

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. 

Use & Care

Couto is very minty and a little goes a long way. Brush two or three times a day with a good toothbrush. 

Production & Design

As a pharmacist, Alberto Ferreira do Couto formulated solutions for problems of the human body. Major medical revolutions still lay far in the horizon, but an effective toothpaste was well within grasp. With the help of a dentist friend, Couto set about formulating a glycerin-based paste that would help bring down the cavity-count of Portugal. Upon its release in 1932, the success of the new toothpaste was immediate, finding its way into the day-to-day routine of ordinary Portuguese.

To this day, the toothpaste is produced in much the same way, a method the company describes as semi-artisanal. 


2.1 oz (60 g) 


Glycerine, Tylose, Water, Potassium Chlorate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Aeromatic Essence, Liquid Paraffin, Saccharine, Empycol

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