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The Journey Of The Toothbrush

The toothbrush has not always been the rechargeable, Bluetooth connection, face-scanning, electrical device that it is now.

The modern toothbrush has been developing since 3500 BC. In Egypt and Babylon at around 300 BC twigs were used to clean teeth but not like a toothpick, ends were frayed and used in a similar fashion to a standard non electric toothbrush. In 1600 BC China, people chewed on sticks to clean their teeth.  The bristle toothbrush that we know today has only been around since 1498. This brush was invented in China where they used sticks of bamboo or bone and strung hog hair through the bone or bamboo to have the hairs stick out through one end.

This brush was then taken to Europe by the Chinese, where the Europeans then replaced the hog hair for horse hair or feathers. In 1857 H. N. Wadsworth first patented the toothbrush.

When nylon was invented by Du Pont in 1935 this appeared to be a better material for the toothbrush and thus was used in the toothbrush of 1938. As nylon developed so did the toothbrush and by the 1950’s a softer toothbrush was invented. In 1939 the first electric toothbrush was invented and the cost was $4.95 (Very expensive for that time).

In 1954 the first battery operated toothbrush was invented in Switzerland by Dr. Philippe Guy Woog. Today we have toothbrushes that can do almost anything. Each charge can last up to 3 days, they can even have tongue cleaners on the back of them and can even tell you the weather and news via an app while you brush.

While checking the weather and news is a great addition to the humble brush we recommend using a brush of your choice.

What a fascinating journey from such modest beginnings. 


Please phone the practice to book an appointment on 07  3203 0612