The modern toothbrush was introduced in 1938 by DuPont de Nemours. Up until this time, animal hair, particularly boar bristles, were being used in toothbrushes. DuPont de Nemours made the first ever toothbrush with nylon bristles and was known as “Dr. West’s Miracle-Tuft Toothbrush”. This revolutionary device is the start of
For this, they used chewing sticks which was chewed on one end until the remaining wood fibers form a brush to clean the teeth. These sticks are the earliest form of the Miswak toothbrush, which is made out of the branches of a tree known to have antiseptic properties and is actually still used to this day. Other predecessors of the toothbrush used bird feathers, linen strips, animal bones and even porcupine quills.
One of the most effective of such devices was the one with bristles made from hog hair. This was a Chinese invention that came into use in 1498. The hair at the back of a boar’s neck was used to make the bristles which were coarse and stiff. The toothbrush handle was made of either bamboo or bone.
Much later in 1780, Englishman William Addis had the same idea of using bone and animal hair to make a toothbrush. Addis’ choice of materials was cow bones and cow hair and later horsehair. Cow bones were eventually replaced by celluloid handles.
The next milestone here would be DuPont’s nylon toothbrush, the use of which became very popular in the United States as a result of the company’s marketing campaign centered on supporting the US troops during the war. In the 1960s came the electric toothbrush which was invented by Swiss company Squibb.
The humble toothbrush definitely has come a long way from ancient times to the modern day. There may have been many evolutions of this device but what remains throughout the ages is the knowledge dentists Northwest Houston have always shared – brushing your teeth is important.