Toothbrushes Through the Ages

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Have you ever wondered how our beloved toothbrush came to be? Our pediatric 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
The first toothbrush with natural bristles was developed in the 15th century in China. 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, which are softer.

William Addis designed the first toothbrush of a more modern design around 1780. The toothbrush’s handle was carved from cattle bone and the bristles were still from a swine.

Today’s Toothbrush
Later, nylon was invented by Du Pont. After this invention, the modern toothbrush with nylon bristles was developed in 1938. Softer bristles were introduced by the 1950s.

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

We encourage you to contact Pima Pediatric Dentistry at 520-748-7073 today to learn more about dental hygiene and to schedule a visit with Dr. Sophie Baird. Our pediatric dentist and team in Tucson, Arizona, look forward to serving you.