Fluoride toothpaste inventors from IU win posthumous fame

January 21, 2019

Two late Indiana University researchers whose cavity-fighting formula launched Crest toothpaste in the 1950s will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Joseph Muhler and William Nebergall will be inducted May 2 in Washington, D.C., along with 17 other inventors and innovators.

Muhler was a dentistry researcher at Indiana University and Nebergall was a chemistry professor, the Herald-Times reported. They're being honored for their patents in fluoride toothpaste.

Nebergall died in 1978, Muhler in 1996.

Their toothpaste formula did not break down fluoride molecules. When it was tested on children and adults in Bloomington, a dramatic decrease in cavities was detected.

Crest toothpaste debuted in 1956. Four years later, it became the first cavity-prevention toothpaste recognized by the American Dental Association.


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