Wooden tooth-powder Box

The Copp family of Stonington, Connecticut used this small wooden box of vegetable tooth powder during the early 19th century. Vegetable tooth powder was an abrasive used for dental cleaning during the 18th and 19th century. Vegetable powders were mainly composed of powdered cereals mixed with potassium chloride, and sweetened with saccharine or mint. The vegetable powder was useful for its abrasive effects, but the starch from the cereals were detrimental to overall oral health.
The Copp Collection contains a variety of household objects that the Copp family of Connecticut used from around 1700 until the mid-1800s. Part of the Puritan Great Migration from England to Boston, the family eventually made their home in New London County, Connecticut, where their textiles, clothes, utensils, ceramics, books, bibles, and letters provide a vivid picture of daily life. More of the collection from the Division of Home and Community Life can be viewed by searching accession number 28810.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 1 1/2 in x 2 in; 3.81 cm x 5.08 cm
overall: 1 1/4 in x 2 in; 3.175 cm x 5.08 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Domestic Furnishings
Copp Collection
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Copp Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of John Brenton Copp

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