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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 has been around for thousands of years. However, early teeth care tools were very different from what we use today. Let’s explore the history of the toothbrush together.

Teeth-cleaning tools 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 freshened the user’s breath.

The bristle toothbrush was invented in China in 1498. These toothbrushes were made from bone or bamboo with the course hairs from a hog’s neck attached. As this idea was brought to Europe, the toothbrush design altered somewhat. The Europeans preferred using horsehairs. Other variations on 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 carved from cattle bone and the brush still used swine bristles.

Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush was the first toothbrush made with nylon bristles. 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 required of the army. Today, there are many varieties of toothbrushes. 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.

We welcome you to contact Jefferson Dental Health PC today to learn more and to schedule a visit with our dentist in Watertown, New York. Dr. Nirmal Aujla and our team are excited to get to know you and your family.