A Very Brief History on the Toothbrush

woman brushing her teethDental implants Fort Lauderdale, FL dentist Dr. Fenton wants to share with you some interesting history on an item you use every day; your toothbrush. Toothbrushes are an important part of every healthy person’s day and one of the most useful instruments in caring for your dental implants. However, have you ever wondered how old toothbrushes are? Or just where they can from in the first place? Well, the staff here at Bayview Smile Design found ourselves pondering these very same questions. We decided to hit the books, find the answers and bring them back here to share with you!

It turns out though that answering the question as to where exactly the toothbrush actually came from is a little more complex than we thought. This is because it just so happens that toothbrushes are a lot older than expected. Like really old. Think 800 years old. Yep, that’s right. 800 years ago the Chinese began fashioning handles out of bamboo and bone and then attaching thick animals hairs to the ends if those handles. These hairs were very course and most often times gathered from the backs of boar’s necks. Our staff isn’t quite sure as to whether or not these primitive toothbrushes did more damage or good as the bristols most likely scratched the surface of the user’s enamel. As to whether or not the Chinese really were the first civilization to concoct a makeshift toothbrush, the jury is out as well. However for the sake of this blog we’re starting off in China and giving kudos to them for being, without a doubt, one of the first civilizations to do so nonetheless.

Fast forward with us quite a bit now. We’re in an 18th century England prison cell sitting next to a man named William Addis and watching as he furiously carves away at a bone he has gotten ahold of. We’re still watching, questioning his sanity, as he digs holes into the end of this strange bone contraption and stuffs boar hairs into the holes. We’re backing away slowly now as Addis fastens those hairs to the end of the bone handle with wire, and then sticks it in his mouth. William Addis left that prison cell with his invention (despite the fact the Chinese were way ahead of him) and proceeded to produce what would be recognised as the very first toothbrush. He dies a very wealthy man, and we die regretting the day we didn’t knock him out and steal the toothbrush for ourselves.

Fast forward yet again. We are still in England only the year is 1938. A company by the name of DuPont develops the first toothbrush with relatively the same nylon bristles that grace the end of our toothbrushes today. It’s a hit and DuPont makes a lot of money.

Those very same toothbrushes made their way across the pond and over to America where after World War II soldiers came back influenced by military hygiene methods and the act of daily toothbrushing became routine.

And there you have it, folks. A very brief but simple history of that little contraption sitting on your bathroom countertop at this very moment; your toothbrush. We hope you enjoyed this history lesson as much as we did.

Until next time readers, keep smiling.