Can you imagine a life without your beloved toothbrush? After all, every morning it is the first one to greet you. But have you ever thought about that shiny stick with bristles on top? Have you ever thought about how it came into existence? Unfortunately, like every other essential thing in life, we have taken the poor toothbrush for granted.
But truth be told, the toothbrush has a rather interesting story to tell.
Origin of the Toothbrush
The toothbrush’s journey started around 5000 BC in Egypt where it’s companion the all-powerful toothpaste was born. The first ancestor of the modern-day toothpaste was made from ox hooves, myrrh, eggshell fragments and pumice.
However, the earliest form of the toothbrush came into existence about another 1500 years later in Babylon and Egypt. These ancient civilizations frayed the ends of twigs and used them as tooth sticks.
Chewsticks in China
The Chinese worked upon the existing designs and gave birth to the chew stick, a rather fancy ancestor of the toothbrush. It was made from the twigs of aromatic trees, so that along with cleaning the teeth, one could freshen his mouth.
Some historical records suggest that the toothbrush had a distant relative in the 14th century in China where monks used brushes made out of horse hair to clean their mouth.
Invention Of the Modern Day Toothbrush
The modern day toothbrush was born around 1780, in England. This creation of William Addis consisted of a cattle bone handle and swine bristles. This was a stepping stone in the revolution that the simple toothbrush was about to begin. Within a few decades, it became a household name. The discovery of Nylon in the 20th century, which was to be used for making artificial bristles aided the toothbrush in becoming an indispensable part of people’s lives. The toothbrush became a celebrity overnight!
Today, there are hundreds of types of toothbrushes in different shapes and sizes, starting from the soft toothbrush used for kids to the highly efficient electric toothbrush. The journey that the toothbrush made from the tooth stick in 3500 BC to the electric toothbrush today is truly commendable. It has indeed come a long way.
It would thus, be unfair to deny that this simple toothbrush is an excellent scientific invention which we can’t live without.