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History of Toothbrushes

Toothbrush in waterArcheologists have discovered ancient aromatic twigs with chewed, frayed ends, indicating to them that even our ancient ancestors recognized the importance of regularly cleaning their teeth and mouths.

The first bristled toothbrushes appeared in China, around the year 1000. Crude tools were fashioned together, using ivory handles with tufts of horsehair as bristles. Five hundred years later, the Chinese introduced a bone or bamboo-handle with bristles from the back of a boar’s neck.

In 1938, a Frenchman named Dupont de Nemours introduced the “modern” toothbrush as we know it today. Up until then, boar bristles were the best option, but this new, innovative toothbrush, called Dr. West’s Miracle Toothbrush, introduced the first nylon-bristled brush.

Of course, dental hygiene’s main tool has come a long way since ancient times, and even since the 1930’s nylon advancement. These days, toothbrushes have smooth, polished, soft-ended and flexible nylon bristles in various configurations designed to get under the gums and between the teeth. Some toothbrushes even offer streamlined plastic handles with rubber gripping surfaces, action characters for kids, timers to help you brush an appropriate length of time, LCD screens with smiley faces to encourage optimal brushing, and even tiny speakers to play music. Battery-powered toothbrushes have also evolved and may offer ultrasonic and ionic abilities, as well as rotating brushes to mimic the best brushing technique.

Even though there are all sorts of fancy options, maintaining optimal oral health is possible even with the cheapest and most basic of toothbrushes. But remember that, along with brushing and flossing, it’s important to come in every six months for a dental cleaning and a checkup. To make your appointment, please contact SpringRock Dental today. Our family dental office is located here in Aurora, Colorado.

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