The History of the Toothbrush

Have you ever thought about where the toothbrush came from, and what people used before the modern toothbrush was invented?

The toothbrush as we know it wasn’t invented until 1938. The first bristle toothbrush, similar to the ones we use now, was found in China; the bristles were made from mountain hogs while the handle was carved from bamboo or bone. Travellers brought this toothbrush to Europe in the 17th century, where it was adopted. Boar hair was used until 1937, when Du Pont invented nylon and the modern toothbrush was developed.

The ancient Egyptians made toothbrushes from frayed twigs, and scientists have found evidence in the form of teeth grooves that people used toothpicks and dental floss. Some cultures, such as the Chinese, even used “chewing sticks,” made from aromatic twigs.

Next time you use brush your teeth, think about what it would feel like to use pig hair or a twig instead!

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