If you have good oral hygiene you probably brush your teeth at least once or twice a day. There are many different types of toothbrushes; some have soft bristles and some have medium or firm. Maybe you have one that is especially designed to reach the back teeth better, or maybe you have an electric toothbrush. It is pretty likely that you currently have at least one toothbrush, but have you ever wondered about the history of the toothbrush?
The history of toothbrushes is longer than many people realize. As early as 3500 B.C. the Romans and the Greeks used sticks to clean their teeth. They were not that different than the products that pets chew on to clean their teeth. The history of the toothbrush, in the form that we use today, began when the Chinese altered the sticks so that the chewed end was softer and the other end was pointy, like a toothpick.
There are some discrepancies in toothbrush history surrounding the earliest bristled toothbrush. Many believe that the first toothbrushes with bristles were made in England by William Addis during the 1770s while he was in prison of all places. There are also theories that bristled toothbrushes may have been used in India and Africa as early as 1600 B.C. It is also believed that they were used during the Chinese Tang Dynasty (from 619 to 907 A.D.)
The history of the toothbrush in the United States begins much later. The toothbrush became common in the U.S. in the mid 1840s. Bristles were made from synthetic fibers starting in the 1930s, with the discovery of nylon. Today information about toothbrushes and all other aspects of oral hygiene is available from dentists offices, websites, and teeth wikis.