Dental hygiene is an irreplaceable contributor to oral health. Proper dental hygiene includes brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. Teeth care dates back for thousands of years. However, early dental care tools were very different from what we use today.
Tools for cleaning the teeth have been around since 3500-3000 BC. In Babylon and Egypt, people used twigs with frayed ends to clean their teeth. In Egypt, ancient tombs have been found that contain toothsticks alongside their owners. In China in about 1600 BC, chewing sticks were developed from aromatic tree twigs. These chewing sticks were used to freshen breath.
The bristle toothbrush, which is similar to what we use today, was invented in China in 1498. These toothbrushes were made from bone or bamboo with the course hairs from a hog’s neck attached. The toothbrush’s design was altered some as it was brought to Europe. Europeans preferred using horsehairs for their toothbrushes, as they are softer. Other versions of the toothbrush in Europe used feathers. Around 1780, a toothbrush of more modern design was invented by William Addis in England. This toothbrush was also the first mass-produced toothbrush. The handle was made from cattle bone and the brush still consisted of swine bristles.
The first toothbrush made with nylon bristles was called Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush. The use of the toothbrush was not common in the United States until soldiers came home from WWII and brought the habit with them. Tooth brushing was part of the daily dental hygiene regimen the army required. Today, toothbrushes come in many varieties. Both manual and electronic toothbrushes are available. Generally, the handles are made from molded plastic in varying designs. The nylon bristles come in differing levels of softness.
Feel free to contact our office today to learn more about dental hygiene and to schedule a visit with our dentist in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Philippe Athuil and our team are excited to get to know you and your family.