The Evolution of The ToothbrushThe Evolution of The Toothbrush https://www.vitadentalspring.com/wp-content/themes/corpus/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg 150 150 Tony Tony https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/aa9bbdf8f1e6bbf534778ecea7c0c925?s=96&d=mm&r=g
The Evolution of the Toothbrush: Dentist in Spring Texas
Maintaining good oral hygiene is not only good for your dental health, but also for your overall health. This is something that we as humans have always found to be true since way back and we have always found ways to help keep our teeth and mouths cleaned. In fact, the toothbrush as a tool for cleaning teeth dates back to 3500 BC, which gives you an idea of how far it has come to the modern toothbrushes we have nowadays. Like the many common household items we have in our houses, we rarely take time to think of the origins of our toothbrushes and how they have advanced over the years. But just for a moment try to imagine how it would have been like without toothbrushes. Toothbrushes have become such an important aspect in our lives that we can’t imagine how it would be if they weren’t there. Have you also ever wondered how folks back in the day cleaned their teeth and how toothbrushes used to look like back then?
How, for instance, did the very first toothbrush look like? How did it evolve over the years for us to end up with the modern toothbrushes we have now? Well, this article will look to help answer these questions as it will look to take a look at how the toothbrush has evolved over the years.
The toothbrush can be traced back to 3500 BC where ancient Egyptians and Babylonians chewed on sticks on one end until the fibers of the stick formed a brush which they would then use to clean their teeth. This was actually pretty ingenious if you think about it, and it served to clean teeth pretty well. After some time, they discovered that there were certain trees that had antiseptic properties and as such could make for even better toothbrushes. This is when the Miswak came into play, as it was a twig from the Salvadora persica tree, which had antiseptic properties.
There are people up to now who believe the Miswak to be superior to modern-day toothbrushes and still use them to date, and this is something that has been backed up by certain studies. In 1600 BC the Chinese took the chewing stick even further by developing a double-ended chewing stick, which had a brush on one end and a sharp point on the other end. The idea was to use the part with the brush to rub against your teeth to clean them, with the sharp-pointed side serving as a toothpick to help you clean in between your teeth.
The Chinese again in the late 15th century have been credited with developing the very first bristle toothbrush. They did this by taking hairs off of Siberian wild boars and placing them onto bamboo sticks, which is commonly found in the area. Through travelers, these toothbrushes eventually made their way into Europe and began to be mass-produced for general public use. These brushes worked in the same way as the modern toothbrushes we have nowadays, although they were definitely not as refined and sanitary as well as being a bit harsh on teeth.
In fact, they were so harsh on teeth that some people switched and began using the hair found on the back of horses, which was gentler on gums and teeth, instead of Siberian wild boar hair to make bristles. However, since horses were extremely valuable to Europeans at the time, the Siberian boar toothbrushes were still the most commonly used ones. An alternative to this was the use of sponges and cloths, which were dipped into solutions made of slats and oils and used to clean teeth, with the sponges and cloths attached to sticks to reach the teeth at the back. Most Europeans during this time didn’t brush their teeth.
It wasn’t until 1780 that the modern toothbrush was first made by William Addis who hailed from Clerkenald, England. Legend has it that Addis actually came up with this idea when he was in jail doing time. Having noticed how teeth cleaning among inmates was ineffective, he decided to do something about it and make a more effective tool. He saved an animal bone, which we can assume was from eating dinner, borrowed bristles for a guard, drilled holes on the bone, placed the bristles on the whole and sealed them in using glue. Once he had served time and was released, he began to mass-produce these toothbrushes and eventually the business took off, making him very rich.
The witch from bone as the handle happened during World War 1, where the need for bone soup naturally outweighed the need to produce toothbrushes. Celluloid handles, which were made by injecting plastic into molds, then cooling them in a certain shape, were then born. In 1937, Wallace H. Carothers created nylon, an invention that completely revolutionized toothbrushes as the nylon replaced animal hair bristles on toothbrushes. Nylon revolutionized the game as manufacturers found that it came with lower production costs, and they could also vary the texture, diameter and shape of the nylon bristles.
Nylon also reduced the chances of infection as it reduced the chances of infection being transferred as it didn’t trap bacteria as animal bristles. In 954, the electric toothbrush was invented in Switzerland and this helped push the evolution of the toothbrush to the modern and effective form we have nowadays.