What did Ancient People use for brushing their Teeth?

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Have you ever wonder how people from the past clean their teeth? The toothbrush that you know today was only created around 1938 when DuPont conglomerate invented nylon. In the past people had to be creative and resourceful to brush and clean their teeth.

Around 3500-3000 BC, Egyptians and Mesopotamians used toothpicks to remove food particles in between their teeth. Archeologists have seen toothpicks buried together with Egyptians mummies. These toothpicks were placed on the mummies because they believe that the dead could clean their teeth in the afterlife.

The first toothbrush that Egyptians actually used were made by splitting the frayed end of a wooden twig, while in China, they chewed on twigs to clean and freshen their breath.
In the 1400s, Chinese invented the first ever-natural soft-bristle toothbrush using hogs’ necks. Over time, they learned to attach bones or bamboo sticks to the hog bristles, which enabled them to clean the further crevices in the back of their mouth.

Hog bristle toothbrush made its way to Europe in the 1770s, when a man named William Addis came up with an idea of digging tiny holes in his saved bone meal. He glued pig bristles in the bone holes and used it for cleaning his teeth.

The first patent toothbrush was given to H.N. Wadsworth in 1857, and mass production of animal toothbrushes started in the United States in 1885. However, using toothbrushes made from animals were not ideal because it retained bacteria.

Then, in 1938, Nylon was developed, and nylon soft-bristle brush replaced the natural animal toothbrushes. Today, toothbrush comes in many shapes, sizes, while some are even electronically made. Though the materials in manufacturing toothbrushes have continuously changed over time, the basics of cleaning the teeth have not changed since the Ancient times.

We’re here to make your dental care easier than the ancient times!

For more questions about keeping your teeth healthy and clean talk to our dental team or visit us at Dr. Parekh and Associates in Alliston!

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