A Brief History of the Toothbrush Throughout Time

You might be surprised to know that people went without modern toothbrushes for thousands of years. In fact, the toothbrushes that we use today weren’t invented until 1938! That’s right, your great grandparents may not have used the toothbrush you are familiar with when they were children. The toothbrush is a necessary tool for us to keep our oral hygiene up and to avoid disease associated with poor oral hygiene. Without tooth brushing, your teeth would quickly form cavities and begin to decay. This decay can spread throughout your body and actually kill you if severe enough! No wonder people have used various devices to clean their teeth since the beginning of humanity.

The First Toothbrushes

The first records of primitive toothbrushes are from somewhere around 3500 BC. Egyptians and Babylonian people used chewing sticks that would rub against the teeth to clean them. There is also record of these peoples attaching boar bristles to bamboo to use as toothbrushes.

In 1600 BC people in china began to use chewing sticks with frayed ends that were beaten to make the scrubbing surface better for cleaning teeth. Even some people today still use chewing sticks all over the world! Over 3000 years thereafter, in 1498 CE Europeans caught wind of bamboo toothbrushes with boar bristles and would travel to china to purchase them. The item became very popular in Europe.

In 1780 CE, the very first mass-produced toothbrushes came from Britain made out of cattle bone and swine fibers.

Then, finally, in 1938, the pig fibers were replaced with nylon. On this year, the modern toothbrush was invented.

All throughout time, people have understood the importance of oral health. So don’t neglect it. Stop into our office today for a consultation or cleaning!


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