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Cravings and the history of toothpaste

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

Believe it or not cravings are not just for pregnant ladies!

Reading time: 2 minutes

Habits work in loops. There are 4 elements involved in the process: a consolidate habit starts with the craving for the reward even before the cue triggers a routine that leads to the final reward that l the brain needs to remember the loop as a useful one.

[ If you want to know more about the habit loop check out this other article HERE]

Let's focus on CRAVINGS.

The real reason why habits are so powerful is that they create neurological cravings.

There is nothing programmed in our brain that makes us see a box of doughnuts and automatically want a sugary treat, but once your brain learns that a doughnut box contains yummy sugar and carbohydrates, it will start anticipating the sugar high. Our brain pushes us toward the box and if we don’t eat one we feel disappointed.

Particularly strong habits produce addiction-like reactions that sometimes evolve into obsessive craving.

A healthy habit bore in the early 1900s. Brushing your teeth was not very common back then, however Claude Hopkins, one of the U.S.’s most famous marketing executives signed on to promote Pepsodent toothpaste and ended up starting a nationwide habit.

In his ads he invited people to run their tongue across their teeth to feel what he called "the film"(the thin layer of mucin plaques on the teeth) and suggesting to use their product to have whiter teeth without the film. The craving of the product was induced by the fresh tingly sensation cause by ingredients such as citric acid and mint oil.

People wanted that feeling, so they kept brushing!

Stay curious, Mindset Lab. Family!

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