Brushing our teeth as you will be aware is an important part of our daily routine. Not only does it remove plaque, food debris and stains from our teeth but it also prevents tooth decay, gum disease and other health problems. Done properly twice a day for at least two minutes we can rest assured that out teeth and gums will be in good health.
The toothbrush plays a big role in keeping teeth healthy so choosing one suitable for you is important. Today we can choose from a whole range of designs and colours with hard bristles, medium bristles and soft bristles. They can even come as electronic devices. The choice available to us now is fantastic and we should be thankful, particularly when we look back on what was once available.
The first signs of tooth brushing dates back to 3500-3000 BC where the Babylonians and the Egyptians used a twig with frayed ends to brush their teeth. There is even evidence of the Ancient Egyptians found buried with toothsticks that belonged to them.
In 16000 BC Chewing Sticks were developed by the Chinese to help maintain healthy teeth and gums. Made from aromatic tree twigs they also acted as a breath freshener. The Chinese are also thought to have invented the first natural bristle toothbrush during the 15th century. These were made from pigs necks where the bristles were attached to a piece of bone or a bamboo handle. Over time the design was brought over to Europe where it was adapted to meet the needs of Europeans. The brush bristles were made from softer hairs, often horse hairs where as others used feathers instead.
It wasn’t until 1780 that a more modern toothbrush was created by William Addis in England. The handle of the newly designed toothbrush was carved from cattle bone but the bristles were still made using animal hairs. In 1844 the first toothbrush to have three rows of bristles was created.
The 20th century saw the invention of Nylon by Du Pont making it possible to improve the toothbrush and move away from using animal hairs as bristles. In 1938 the first toothbrush made with nylon bristles and a plastic handle was produced, and by the 1950’s it was possible to make toothbrushes with softer nylon bristles. From here on upwards the toothbrush continued to improve with the first electric one being introduced in 1939.
Toothbrushes today are available as manual brushes or electronic brushes. Both are completely good tools, with arguments that the electric brush is better. They are typically made with a plastic handle and nylon bristles however there are other options available. A lot of the designs also come with tongue scrapers on the back of the head on the brush. These are generally made from silicone and are designed to remove germs, bacteria and food from the tongue. The tongue is mostly responsible for bad breath so making sure that it is clean is of great importance. There are also options available for children where the brushes are smaller in size and have even softer bristles on them.