Best Answer: A variety of oral hygiene measures have been used since before recorded history. This has been verified by various excavations done all over the world, in which chewsticks, tree twigs, bird feathers, animal bones and porcupine quills were recovered. The first modern idea of a toothbrush is believed to have been invented in China around 1500 by the Chinese, which used the stiff hairs from a hog's neck, attached to a bamboo stick.
However, many other peoples used different forms of toothbrushes. Ancient Indian medicine has used the neem tree and its products to create toothbrushes and similar products for millennia. In the Muslim world, the miswak, or siwak, made from a twig or root with antiseptic properties is widely used. Rubbing baking soda or chalk against the teeth was also common. Chewing sticks were first made by primates.
William Addis of England is credited with creating the first mass-produced toothbrush in 1780. In 1770 he had been placed in jail for causing a riot. While in prison, he decided that the method for teeth brushing of the time – rubbing a rag on one's teeth with soot and salt – could be improved. So he took a small animal bone, drilled small holes in it, obtained
some bristles from a guard, tied them in tufts, then passed the bristles through the holes on the bone and glued them.
The first patent for a toothbrush was by H. N. Wadsworth in 1850 in the United States, but mass production of the product in America only started in 1885. The rather advanced design had a bone handle with holes bored into it for the Siberian Boar hair bristles. Boar wasn't an ideal material; it retained bacteria, it didn't dry well, and the bristles would often fall out of the brush. It wasn't until World War II, however, that the concept of brushing teeth really caught on in the U.S. in part because it was part of American soldiers' regular daily duty to clean their teeth. It was a practice that they brought back to their home life after the conclusion of the war.
Natural bristles (from animal hair) were replaced by synthetic fibers, usually nylon, by DuPont in 1938. The first nylon bristle toothbrush, made with nylon yarn, went on sale on February 24, 1938. The first electric toothbrush, the Broxodent, was introduced by the Bristol-Myers Company (now Bristol-Myers Squibb) at the centennial of the American Dental Association in 1959.
CanProf · 8 years ago