Every time you see your hygienist they will ask you: how many times a day are you brushing? Are you using a manual or electric toothbrush? Pretty standard questions now days, but back in 1498, the question was whether or not your toothbrush handle was made of bone or bamboo! In fact the first bristle toothbrush was invented in China in 1498; the bristles were made of coarse boar hairs- YUCK! I wonder what the sterilization process was back then; did they wash the boar prior to plucking it’s hair? The boar bristles were used until the 1900’s, that’s 440 years and a lot of hairless boars. In 1938 nylon bristles were introduced by “Dupont de Nemours” and the toothbrush was called “Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush” I guess this is a step up from the previous toothbrush, definitely more sterile. But if you thought the boar bristle, bone handle toothbrush was strange, wait until you find out what they used before that…. In 3000 BC oral hygiene was practiced in a very unique way, but at least it was practiced. Ancient civilization used a twig with frayed ends, also referred to as “chew sticks” to clean their teeth; they would rub it against their teeth until they were satisfied. Personally I feel like the dirt from the twig would make the teeth more dirty, but seriously we can hardly get our kids to brush their teeth now with the latest technology. So who am I to judge?
Toothbrushes have come a long way since 3000 BC, the 1400’s and even the 1900’s, now we have Bluetooth electric toothbrushes at our disposal! Some of them even have an app so you can track your brushing habits, crazy I know. 1960 was the year when the first electric toothbrush became accessible to the world. Initially launched in America, everyone needed this new toothbrush because they had never seen anything like it.. Nevermind what it did for your oral hygiene, who cares just give me the pink one!