How old is the toothbrush?

Vintage toothbrush

How old is the toothbrush?

How old is the toothbrush?

Not your toothbrush, THE toothbrush. Obviously, teeth are nothing new. People have had them for thousands of years and we’re still figuring out how to best take care of them. But when did we start this journey? When did we stop accepting bad breath and fuzzy feeling teeth as a way of life?

 

When did it start?

Egyptians are believed to have started using a paste to clean their teeth around 5000BC, before toothbrushes were invented in 3000 B.C. The first crude toothbrushes were made from twigs and leaves and while primitive, worked well to clean their teeth.

Moving on from that, it’s thought that the modern toothbrush was developed in England in 1780. While in jail, a man named William Addis decided to drill holes into a sheep’s tibia, and pulled through the bristles of boar hair – not ideal but a good start! (While he was credited with the invention of the modern toothbrush, a similar design has since been discovered in China from 1400.)

 

Brushing’s fine but what about the breath….

According to the ADA, tube toothpaste (vs. tooth powder) became widely available in the 1880s, which allowed more people to improve their oral health cheaply and easily. Fluoride toothpastes were first marketed in the 1950s, and improved oral health definitely made people’s lives a lot easier and more hygenic.

The first toothbrush with synthetic bristles was marketed in 1938, and an early electric toothbrush (developed in Switzerland) first appeared in the U.S. in 1960.

 

And now?

And now, we have sophisticated dental equipment to allow dentists to take X-rays, track dental progress with 3D scans, retainers sent out in the post, and of course, connected devices and an app to help you take care of your dental health.

With smart dental care tools, such as the Philips Sonicare toothbrush that connects to your phone to share data on your brushing, you can stay on top of your dental health daily. Additionally, with Toothpic, you can get a detailed dental report directly to your phone by simply taking six photos of your teeth, or get a report in under six hours by sharing just one photo. Our network of dentists will review your photos and some answers provided by you, and share a detailed report to keep you fully informed about how to best manage your smile.