Interesting Facts About The History of the Toothbrush
There are many things that we use and kind of just take for granted and/or don’t know the history of. The toothbrush is one of them…
Did you know that the toothbrush is over 5000 years old?
Ancient civilizations used to thin twigs with frayed ends to dislodge food from between their teeth, kind of like today’s version of the toothpick. They called them “chew sticks”.
Later on, they started to use wood, ivory, bone, and bristles of animals such as boars and hogs.
Did you know that the first mass-produced toothbrush was invented in prison?
Well, it’s common knowledge that inmates have nothing but time on their hands, so this really isn’t too surprising to hear, but nonetheless, interesting.
Back in 1770, a gentleman by the name of William Addis from England was put in jail for starting a riot. His fellow prisoners at the time used a rag covered in salt or soot to clean their teeth.
Having an entrepreneurial mindset, he saved an animal bone from dinner and then got a guard to give him bristles. He made tiny holes in the bone and inserted the bristles, then ensured they would stay in place by sealing the holes with glue. Pretty brilliant!
When he finally got released from jail, he improved his original invention and started a company to make toothbrushes.
The modern bristled toothbrush made of nylon that you would find in stores today was invented in 1938. Many people found these too hard, but by the 1950s, softer nylon bristles were being made.
See…you really do learn something new everyday!