Toothbrushes: A History

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Have you ever wondered how our beloved toothbrush came to be? Our dentist and team are happy to briefly go over the history of the toothbrush with you.

The Ancient Toothbrush
People have been making tools to clean their teeth since ancient times. Around 3500 to 3000 BC, the Egyptians and Babylonians used a twig with a frayed end to clean their teeth. The Chinese began using chewing sticks around 1600 BC. These aromatic tree twigs freshened the breath.

The Modernizing of the Toothbrush
In the 15th century in China, the first toothbrush with natural bristles was developed. The bristles from a pig’s neck were attached to a handle made from bone or bamboo. When this toothbrush came to Europe, the design was altered to use horse hairs or feathers. The Europeans preferred these softer materials.

Around 1780, the first toothbrush with a more modern design was developed. The toothbrush’s handle was carved from cattle bone and the bristles were still from a swine.

Today’s Toothbrush
Later, nylon was invented and the modern toothbrush with nylon bristles was developed in 1938.

Today, both manual and electric toothbrushes are available in many shapes and sizes to accommodate the preferences of consumers.

Contact our office at 708-482-0300 today to learn more about dental hygiene and to schedule a visit with Dr. Blaine Cusack. Our dentist and team in Countryside, Illinois, look forward to serving you.