This crazy radioactive toothpaste was made at the end of WWII, through to about 1950 or so. Auergesellschaft (a company that produced thorium for gas mantles and the German war effort) wanted to expand into the cosmetics and hygiene industry, and the Atomic Age was upon them. They reasoned:
Radium had already been used in toothpaste (Radiogen), why not use thorium instead? Auer had the patent, and with the thorium in hand they were ready to hit the ground running. They even formulated the following potential advertisement: “Use toothpaste with thorium! Have sparkling, brilliant teeth—radioactive brilliance!”
On the toothpaste tube:
What Does Doramad Do?
Its radioactive radiation increases the defenses of teeth and gums. The cells are loaded with new life energy, the bacteria are hindered in their destroying effect. This explains the excellent prophylaxis and healing process with gingival diseases. It gently polishes the dental enamel so it turns white and shiny. Prevents dental calculus. Wonderful lather and a new, pleasant, mild and refreshing taste. Can be applied sparingly.
Funny thing about medicine, we find out we’ve been either having no positive effect or actively killing ourselves pretty often. I have several medical textbooks that are outdated now, and all of them have insane suggestions and tips in them. If you want to see how bat-shit crazy medicine used to be, a pretty good book of short stories is “Doctor Olaf Van Schuler’s Brain”. It’s contains a list of short stories from a few hundred years of bad medicine. And not the good Bon Jovi kind of bad medicine. You give love a bad name.