Exploring the History of the Toothbrush

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The toothbrush is an essential element of your daily oral hygiene routine . Without it, you would not be able to clean your teeth and prevent plaque and bacteria from causing cavities, decay, and periodontal disease. This seemingly simple tool has served an incredibly purpose throughout human history. Keep reading to learn more about the history of the toothbrush to gain a bigger appreciation for this important tool:

Daily Hygiene, Brushing Teeth

The Chew Stick
Although the modern toothbrush was not invented until 1938, various cultures have been using some form of this tool for thousands of years. As far back as 3,000 BCE, ancient cultures used an instrument known as a chew stick. People rubbed these sticks against the teeth to clean off dirt and other debris. It helped clear some of the dirt, but still left people susceptible to oral health issues like periodontal disease.

The Boar Bristle Brush
By 1498, the Chinese started to make changes to this ancient  chew stick  model. They used boar bristles to make the chew stick even more effective. This innovative toothbrush model was used in some form until the invention of the nylon bristles in 1938. William Addis created the first mass-produced toothbrush in England in 1780.

Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush
DuPont de Nemours is credited with inventing the nylon bristles used in the modern toothbrush. The first model was called Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush. Americans did not really start to understand the importance of oral hygiene until soldiers started to return after World War II, though. By 1960, the first electric toothbrushes started to reach the market.

Come to  University Associates in Dentistry  for all of your general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry needs. As one of the leading dental offices in Chicago, we bring you a winning team and top technology to help you get the healthiest, most attractive smile. To learn more about our services or to schedule your next appointment, visit us online or call (888) 481-6598.

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