3 things you didn’t know about your toothbrush

The toothbrush - more exciting than it first looks!

Your toothbrush is pretty ordinary, right? 

Well, if that's what you've always thought, you'd be wrong! Toothbrushes are the champions of dental health, helping to keep our teeth clean and healthy for a lifetime. But they're also very interesting – and we're not just saying that because we're dentists!

Here are some interesting things you probably didn't know about your toothbrush. 

The nylon-bristled toothbrush as we know it today was only invented in 1938.

1. Toothbrushes are 5,000 years old

Well, not your's obviously. But people have been using toothbrushes for thousands of years. The earliest version was a twig that was frayed at the end and used to scrub food from peoples teeth. 

Eventually, this design became more sophisticated and handles were crafted from bone or wood, while boar bristles were used for the head. Despite all these years of development, the nylon-bristled toothbrush as we know it today was only invented in 1938. 

2. The first mass-produced toothbrush was invented in an English prison

A man named William Addis was thrown into prison around 1780. According to the American Dental Association, the story goes that while in prison he decided to come up with a better solution to cleaning his teeth than just rubbing them with a rag. He took an animal bone from dinner and glued some bristles onto the end – voila! A toothbrush.

When he was released from prison, Addis started making the toothbrushes commercially in London. They quickly caught on and became a staple product, making Addis a good profit!

Toothbrushes have been around in one form or another for thousands of years. Toothbrushes have been around in one form or another for thousands of years.

3. Manual toothbrushes can clean just as well as electric

When it comes down to it, manual and electric toothbrushes essentially do the same job. However, with a manual toothbrush you need to take extra care to use it properly. That means brushing for the recommended length of time – two minutes – and scrubbing all the surfaces. An electric toothbrush takes the hard work out of brushing and tends to do a more thorough job. 

So, the moral of the story is, yes, manual toothbrushes can clean just as well as electric, but you will need to pay more attention to your technique! If you're in any doubt, go electric. 

Here at City Dentists, we're not just toothbrush fanatics, we're experts on everything to do with dental health. For your next dental appointment, come in to see us!