Toothbrush history


Toothpastes in these conventional times can’t go anywhere apart from on a toothbrush. Ever wondered where the idea of having a medium with which you can use to reach into your mouth where your fingers can’t go came to be? Well here’s what I found out as a result of my incessant pondering.


Toothbrush history timeline

What did the first toothbrush look like?


Before the invention of toothbrushes, people used other means such the chew stick, porcupine quills, bird feathers, animal bones in the past. The need and desire to keep the mouth clean had been so strong that the Egyptians made chew stick as far back as 3000BC. This chew stick was a dual purpose stick that had one end used as a toothpick and the other end which is frayed for the brushing of your teeth. Since then, the use of chew stick has been in use till date.




 During the Tang Dynasty which lasted from 619-907, the first toothbrush which looks so much like the modern ones was discovered in China. This bristle consisted of hog bristles. Later on, Chinese monks were recorded to have been using horse tail hairs attached to an ox bone handle to have been cleaning their teeth. The hog bristles spread to Europe where they found it to be too hard as they preferred softer bristles and before long toothbrushes manufactured from horse or boar bristle became rampant until mid 20th century.




Who invented the toothbrush?


The first mass-produced toothbrush was produced by William Addis of England in the year 1780. Gradually celluloid replaced bone handles and so did synthetic fibers, natural animal bristles.






The year 1977 brought Johnson & Johnson to introduce ‘Reach’ a certain kind of toothbrush that differed from the normal ones being used in a lot of ways. Soon a lot of soft bristle toothbrush of different sizes, forms and kinds graced the market and went worldwide. Let’s look at the different types of toothbrushes.




Toothbrush types



Electric toothbrushes

The electric toothbrush is a lot more costly than your manual toothbrush. These type of toothbrush enables to clean the parts of the teeth where the manual toothbrush can’t reach in the mouth. The electric version of a toothbrush is more comfortable as it saves you energy and time as they have timers and can reduce the level of gingivitis and plaques which destroy the teeth.





Interdental toothbrushes


This type of toothbrush is said to reduce your susceptibility to gingivitis and reduces the amount of plaque than when brushing with a manual toothbrush and also clears plaques more than dental floss does. This brush is a small brush which aids cleaning of between the teeth and the wires of the dental braces. It comes in different sizes and so has different numbers ranging from 0 to 8 to indicate the diameter it can pass through.




The other toothbrushes include:

The Sulcabrush which is made for cleaning along the gum- line that is adjacent to the teeth. 






The End-tuft brush which is mostly packed with soft bristles which are used to clean areas of the teeth which can’t be cleaned by other cleaning aid such teeth as the wisdom teeth, areas next to missing teeth etc.






The Chewable Toothbrush which is not so rampant but is used mostly by travelers who might be on a long journey and like to clean his teeth.






The Ecological Toothbrush, which is made using plastic and whose materials for production have been changed to a biodegradable net which doesn’t emit as much pollution as the previous material.








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