Toothbrush is important in our life

Since you probably need to use it twice a day to clean your mouth, toothbrushes have become almost a necessity in our daily life.

The origin of the toothbrush

However, do you know how it was invented? Read on for more information.

The Babylonians and Egyptians developed the original concept of the toothbrush in 3500 BC. The simplicity of the first toothbrushes didn’t negate the effort that went into them. Back then, people chewed one end of an object such as a twig, bird feather, or animal bone until it was soft and then used it to rub teeth. This kind of mechanical action helped to remove plaque from the teeth as well as stimulate their gum tissue.

The first bristled toothbrush is believed to have been invented by the Chinese during the Tang Dynasty (619-907), most likely made from the coarse hair of pigs raised in cold climates. Monks in northern China used the tool to clean their teeth by inserting bristles into holes made of bone or bamboo. This was recorded in writing in 1223 by Dōgen Kigen, a Japanese Zen master traveling in China. According to the Library of Congress, it wasn’t until 1498 that someone in China filed a patent for a modern version of the toothbrush, the bristle toothbrush, similar to the one people use today.

the ancient toothbrush
the ancient toothbrush

Who Invented The Toothbrush

Despite its long history in China, the bristle toothbrush took centuries to reach Europe. During this time, Europeans usually cleaned their teeth by rubbing them with a rag rolled up with salt or soot. William Addis furthered the development of the toothbrush in Britain in 1780. He was also the first person to start mass-producing toothbrushes.

In this oft-quoted legend, William Addis was sentenced to prison in 1770 for causing riots. By chance, to pass the time and clean himself, he took a small bone from a meal, carved it into a handle, drilled holes in it, and inserted boar bristles held in place with wire. After his release from prison, he founded a business making toothbrushes, which made him very rich. By 1840, other countries such as France, Germany, and Japan began to produce toothbrushes on a large scale.

The mass-produced toothbrush arrived in the United States

Although the toothbrushes of the 1800s were better than their predecessors, they still had a lot to be desired. People make ongoing efforts to improve the bristles and handles of the toothbrush. In 1927, the first plastic-handled toothbrush was invented 1927. In 1844, Dr. Meyer Rhein designed the first three-row bristle brush. On November 7, 1857, H·N·Wadsworth became the first American to patent the toothbrush (patent No. 18,653). In about 1885, the mass-produced toothbrush arrived in the United States.

Nylon bristles were replacing the natural animal bristles on toothbrushes

However, animal bristles gradually proved to be an unsatisfactory material for bristles because they did not easily stay dry and would retain large amounts of bacteria. In 1935, at DuPont Chemical Company, an outstanding chemist named Wallace Carothers led a team of researchers who eventually invented the super-polymer known as nylon. In 1938, nylon bristles were introduced by the Dupont de Nemours, replacing the natural animal bristles on toothbrushes, and the manual toothbrush as we know it today was created. Later, influenced by the strict hygiene practices of soldiers who participated in World War II, people became increasingly concerned with good oral hygiene and soon adopted nylon toothbrushes, which surged in popularity further.

ADA recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush

With the development of the times, there are a variety of toothbrushes on the market today, from electric and “smart” toothbrushes to eco-friendly toothbrushes, which may make it difficult for you to choose from. So, what toothbrush should you buy? The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush and replacing your toothbrush every three months or when it starts to wear out.

What kind of toothbrush do you like best? Please share with us in the comments below. If you have any questions about toothbrushes, please contact us!