Arguably the most important of your dental hygiene tools, the toothbrush is a deceptively simple instrument. It consists of a handle and a head with bristles attached to it, yet the modern toothbrush has only been around for a couple of hundred years. The idea of tooth care, however, is much older than that. This week, take a trip through the evolution of the toothbrush with Viva Dental.
- Civilizations as old as the Babylonians chewed on sticks that resembled large toothpicks to keep their teeth clean and their breath fresh.
- The chewing stick was shortened and modified around 1600 BC in China. The Chinese chew stick was about the size of a pencil with a pointed end to use as a toothpick. The other end was softened and used as a sort of brush.
- In the Middle Ages, the Chinese revolutionized the toothbrush again with the advent of the first bristled brush. The bristles were made of cold-climate hog’s hair and were attached to a bamboo stick. (more…)