The ancient Egyptians are thought to have scrubbed their teeth with a special powder made from ox hooves and eggshells as far back as 5000 B.C. The Romans opted for sticks with frayed ends, while the Greeks used rough cloths. In 1498, the Chinese began attaching coarse boar hairs to bamboo or ivory handles, creating the earliest known version of a toothbrush.
People used variations of the boar bristle toothbrush until 1938 when the DuPont Company introduced nylon bristles, which proved sturdier and more efficient than animal hairs. Thus, the modern toothbrush was born!
The toothbrush has gone through many evolutions since. The 1950s brought softer nylon bristles, electric toothbrushes were introduced to the US in the 60s and in the 70s the angled head reached consumers so they could clean their back teeth better. The 80s, 90s, and 00s brought more design updates, like new bristle shapes, different head sizes, and handle grips to fit every need.
Today, both manual and electric toothbrushes come in many shapes, sizes and styles, but the basic fundamentals have not changed since the time of the Ancients – a handle to hold and some form of bristles with which to brush the teeth.
No matter what style you use, take good care of your toothbrush! Keep it clean, dry, and as far away from your toilet as possible. Our Toothbrush Cleaner is a great way to keep you and your toothbrush healthy. Why not give it a try today?
- The first mass-produced toothbrush was made by William Addis of Clerkenwald, England, around 1780.
- The first American to patent a toothbrush was H. N. Wadsworth, (patent number 18,653,) on Nov. 7, 1857.
- Mass production of toothbrushes began in America around 1885.
- The first nylon toothbrush was called Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush.
- Americans, influenced by the disciplined hygiene habits of soldiers from WWII, quickly adopted the nylon toothbrush, and made brushing one’s teeth regularly a widespread practice.