According to Catullus
39 (the Egnatius poem) Spaniards brushed their teeth with human urine
(Catullus found the practice repulsive); it also worked quite well as a mouthwash
. There is evidence that Roman women prized imported Portuguese
urine for its strength during the first century-- probably a result of the long overland supply route than to any real ethnic characteristic.
Urine saw use as the active component in toothpaste and mouthwash until late in the 18th century-- ammonia gave it its cleansing power. Ammonia continues to be an ingredient in most modern dentrifice.