The Evolution of the Toothbrush

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We humans have valued our teeth and cared for them for thousands of years. Over time, our abilities to care for our teeth have massively improved, thanks to some amazing inventions. At the heart of these discoveries is the toothbrush. Here is a brief timeline of the evolution of the toothbrush:

3500-3000 BC: Babylonians and Egyptians fray the ends of twigs and stroke them along their teeth and gum line to clean them.
1600 BC: The Chinese design the first toothbrush apparatus, made from the bristly hair on pigs’ necks and bone or bamboo.
1780 AD: Inventor William Addis creates his version of the toothbrush from cattle bone and horsehair and sells it in Europe.
1844: The first three-row bristle brush is invented.
1847: H.N. Wadsworth files the first U.S. patent for a toothbrush.
1935: Wallace Carothers and his team of chemists successfully create a super-polymer called nylon in their lab.
1938: Bristles made from nylon are added to toothbrushes.
1939: The first electric toothbrush is created.
1950: Toothbrushes with softer bristles become available on the market.
Today: Toothbrushes come in many shapes and sizes and options. They are often made from plastic with molded grips and soft nylon bristles for brushes.

Next time you hold your toothbrush, think back on its history and let yourself feel gratitude for all the genius and arduous work that gave you this instrument.

If you’d like to take more steps improve your oral health, just call 703-241-0666 to reach Ronald Hauptman, DDS and Bahar Rowhani, DDS in Falls Church, Virginia. Dr. Ronald Hauptman & Bahar Rowhani and our excellent team will offer you a state-of-the-art dental exam and cleaning. We’re here to make you smile.