Dental Fact Friday: Illustrated History of the Toothbrush

November 8, 2014

Illustrated History of the Toothbrush

In China (1600 B.C.), aromatic tree twigs freshened breath. Later, the first hard-bristled toothbrush was invented there.

In 1690, the word “toothbrush” was written into an autobiography — the word’s first known use. French dentists were the first to promote toothbrush use.

By 1780, William Addis created the first modern toothbrush… while in prison in England! It was made of cattle bone and swine bristles.

In 1857, H.N. Wadsworth was first to patent the toothbrush. Less than 30 years later, mass production of toothbrushes began in America.

In 1938, DuPont changed the way we brush with nylon synthetic bristles: softer and more hygienic than the hard hair bristles used at the time.

Following WWII, U.S. Army soldiers brought the toothbrushing habit home with them. Just a short time later, in 1954 Switzerland, the first electric toothbrush was produced.

It took just 7 more years to produce a rechargeable/cordless electric toothbrush, then a rotary. By 2003, the toothbrush was deemed the #1 invention people can’t live without.

Now, toothbrushes vary by head shape, bristle hardness, and handle curve. Specialty toothbrushes like chewable plastic, end-tufted (for gums) and interdental (for braces) are also prominent, along with mouthwash products, floss, and other dental hygiene implements.

Illustrated History of the Toothbrush

Illustrated History of the Toothbrush

What’s your favorite type of toothbrush?

Posted in Dental Facts Friday by Farhoumand | Tags: , ,