Dental tools, including toothbrushes, have been around far longer than you imagine. Archaeologists have discovered evidence of simple toothbrushes dating back to 3500 BC when the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians used sticks that were chewed until fibres formed on one end, making a makeshift toothbrush. Later, people learned to use a herbal chewing stick called Miswak, which had antiseptic and healing qualities.
Around 1500, dentists in China discovered that hairs plucked off the backs of pigs could be inserted into animal bones or bamboo sticks to make a primitive toothbrush. Other variations of toothbrushes included porcupine quills and boar bristles, and even bird feathers.
The Invention of the Modern Toothbrush
The invention of the modern toothbrush is attributed to William Addis, who began making toothbrushes while in prison using bones and bristles. After his release, William created a version using cow hair tied to a cow bone before eventually creating versions that could be mass-produced and sold worldwide.
The Invention of the Daily Oral Care Routine
Nowadays, we all know we need to brush our teeth at least twice a day, but this simple routine only began a short while ago after soldiers fighting during the world wars were instructed to clean their teeth following strict oral care routines. Once they returned home, they bought this habit with them.
The First Nylon Toothbrush
During the first world war, toothbrush handles were made from celluloid, and it wasn’t until 1938 that DuPont introduced the first nylon bristles.
The First Electric Toothbrush
The first electric toothbrush was invented in Switzerland in 1939 and was originally meant for people who tended to over brushing teeth. However, electric toothbrushes weren’t introduced to the public until the 1960s.
Now, there are multiple versions of electric toothbrushes available, including some that allow you to follow a toothbrushing routine on an app and which will even show you where you need to brush more thoroughly. If you wish, you can spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy electric toothbrush that will alert you if you are brushing too hard, tell you when it’s time to change your toothbrush head and have multiple settings for different brushing routines. These routines include those designed for gum health, tooth whitening, or normal or deeper cleans.
Kids can have their own electric toothbrushes, in bright colours or shaped like their favourite cartoon figures and some of which will play a song making it easy to brush for the full two minutes each time.
However, even if you buy a top-of-the-range electric toothbrush, it will not work well unless you use it properly and regularly. You still need to spend the full two minutes or longer brushing your teeth thoroughly and methodically at least twice daily. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on a toothbrush, then there is no need, and even a manual brush will work just as well when used correctly. If you are interested in learning more about which toothbrush to use, please ask us for help and advice.