The toothbrush is an incredibly common household item that most people use every day, but how much do you really know about this seemingly simple tool? Believe it or not, the toothbrush has a very long and interesting history.
The first toothbrushes were actually small twigs that people would chew on one end to soften the bristles. These bristles were then used to brush their teeth. This may seem like a very primitive way of cleaning one’s teeth, but it actually did a pretty good job!
The first “modern” toothbrushes were made in China around 1498. These toothbrushes were made of hog hair and were much more comfortable to use than the twigs.
In 1780, William Addis of England came up with the idea of drilling small holes into a bone and inserting bristles into the holes. He then glued the bone to a handle. This design was much more effective than the twigs and hog hair brushes and quickly became very popular.
In 1845, the first mass-produced toothbrush was created by H.N. Wadsworth. His toothbrush was made of bone and bristles and was very similar to William Addis’ design.
The first nylon toothbrush was created in 1938 by DuPont. Nylon bristles were much more effective at cleaning teeth than natural bristles and quickly became the standard.
Today, toothbrushes come in all shapes and sizes and are made from a variety of materials. You can even buy electric toothbrushes that do all the work for you!
Who would have thought that such a simple tool could have such an interesting history? The next time you reach for your toothbrush, take a moment to think about all the people who have used a toothbrush before you and all the people who will use one after you.