When was the Toothbrush Invented? History of Toothbrush

The Invention of a Toothbrush

Even the oldest people of human civilization had a desire to clean their teeth. This desire led to the invention of a toothbrush. So, who invented the toothbrush, and when were toothbrushes invented? Keep reading to find out.

Did toothbrushes exist in the 1700s?

Yes, toothbrushes existed in the 1700s. As a matter of fact, the history of a toothbrush goes back to 3500B.C, i.e., the era of Babylonians. Going further back, brushing teeth with the index finger and coal powder was the norm.

Tree Twigs as toothbrushes

The people of the Babylonian era employed tree twigs to clean their teeth. These twigs were picked from aromatic trees and chewed before usage. Babylonians chose aromatic trees as they are well-known for their pleasant scent.

The use of tree twigs is documented in Chinese Buddhist literature. This is still a frequent practice in several parts of the world today. Dantakastha, Miswak, and Datun are some of the other names for these twigs.

Porcupine Quills as toothbrushes

In the era of Romans, the pointed quills of a porcupine were used to clean interdental spaces. This was in addition to the use of chew sticks. 

Toothpaste was also invented in the era of Romans. The first toothpaste was made of pieces of crushed bone, egg, and volcanic glass - pumice.

First Bristle-type toothbrush

The first toothbrush, resembling a modern one, was made in China. The toothbrush consisted of hog hair attached to a bone or bamboo stick. It became so popular that it spread over China and paved its way into Europe. The hog hair used in the Chinese toothbrush was picked from the pigs of China and Siberia, so the bristles were very firm.

The people of Europe did not like the Hog-hair Chinese toothbrush due to the firm bristles. This made the switch to softer horse bristles. 

A Prisoner's toothbrush: William Addis's invention

A man named William Addis was locked up in England's prison cell when a genius idea struck him. After finishing his meal, he took a bone, drilled holes, and shaped it into a handle. He then asked a prison guard for some hair. He glued the hair into the drilled holes of the bone. 

After getting out of jail, he started mass producing his invention, and his business sky-rocketed. The business stayed within his family till the end of the 20th century.

Contribution of U.S. Army

Brushing teeth was not a common practice in the United States until 1938, when soldiers started coming home from World War II, bringing military personal hygiene such as brushing teeth.

Mass manufacturing of toothbrushes started in 1938, i.e., when Nylon bristles were invented. It was noticed that Nylon bristles cleaned teeth much more effectively and were much more resistant to bacteria.

First Electric toothbrush

The first electric toothbrush was created in Switzerland in the early 20th century and was sold under Motodent. Nearly 2 decades later, Broxodent came into being. With further advancements, the first portable electric toothbrush was created by General Electric in the 1960s. 

These portable electric toothbrushes gained popularity over the years. However, the Nickel Cadmium Batteries used were subject to memory effect. The memory effect causes a battery to drain without prior usage for those who don't know.

Best Toothbrush of the 21st Century

In 1992, the first ultrasonic electric toothbrush was created and sold under Ultrasonex. The same year, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for daily use. Since then, the race to produce effective toothbrushes has gone on and on. Oclean is one such company that produces multiple oral care products and has been providing value for quite some time.

A sneak peek into the online world shows that their products have been accepted by people worldwide. It won't be wrong to say that it is the best company for oral care products with many positive reviews. Moreover, the toothbrushes of Oclean have been recommended by the world's leading dentists, such as Dr. Steven J. Mondre, a NewYork based certified dental surgeon.

*Cover image from pexels@ANTONI SHKRABA, we will delete it if constitutes infringement *


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