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The History Of The Manual Toothbrush

szczoteczka do zębówThanks to the research conducted by archeologists and the items found at the excavation sites, we can learn that the ancient Egyptians and Romans already cared about their oral hygiene and teeth. In order to clean these, the special powders and toothpicks made out of fishbones and tree branches have been used. However, the first toothbrush similar in appearance to the modern one was invented in China, during the Tang dynasty’s rule.

The first toothbrush

The invention of the first toothbrush is dated 1498. The handle was usually made out of bone or bamboo, while the bristles were made out of hair of the Siberian pigs (their fur was the most frequent material because of its elasticity, thickness and resilience). Another popular choice was horse hair. In the XVIIth Century, the popularity of the toothbrushes has reached Europe as well, as they were being imported from China to this continent up until the second half of the XXth Century. In 1780, the British entrepreneur named William Addis was the first man to initiate a mass production and sales of the toothbrushes.  His company exists to this day, selling and supplying not only on the British market, but also French, German and Japanese.

222Increasing popularity

Usefulness of a toothbrush was so huge, that even the health organizations gave it their approval. The manufacturers worked mostly on choosing the most suitable animal hair, but it also had its own disadvantages – the bristles either used to fall off quite often, or gathered bacteria after not being dried up properly. At last, in the year 1900 the synthetic fiber got invented, which allowed for creation of perfect bristles. On February 24th, 1938 the first toothbrush made by the DuPont company and utilizing nylon bristles was placed on sale. In January 2003 in the United States, the toothbrush was ranked first on the ranking of the most important inventions in history.

Unlimited potential

In the XXth Century, the toothbrushes went through the revolutionary series of changes, which made them look the way they are today. In the year 1938, they were already sold with a plastic handle and nylon bristles. One year later, the first battery-powered toothbrushes have appeared. These devices struggled with popularity until the 1960’s. The modern toothbrushes are not only made for brushing – they can also massage our gums and clean the surface of our tongues. With the technological development happening all the time, their functionality will surely increase even more.