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Today, the toothbrush is a very appreciated, important aspect of dental hygiene and the health of your smile. But how did the toothbrush come to be? Before the toothbrush, how did people clean their teeth? Continue reading to find the answers to these questions with Dr. J. Kenneth Carver and our team.

Tools for cleaning the teeth date back to about 3500 BC. The Babylonians and the Egyptians chewed on twigs with frayed ends to clean their teeth. The Chinese began using aromatic chew sticks to freshen their breath around 1600 BC.

In 1498 in China, the bristle toothbrush was invented. Coarse, stiff hairs from the back of a hog’s neck were attached to a handle made of either bone or bamboo. The bristle toothbrush was brought to Europe, where horsehairs or feathers were used for bristles.

Soon after nylon was invented by Du Pont, the modern toothbrush was developed in 1938. The original nylon-bristled toothbrush was called Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush. By the 1950s, softer nylon bristles were being used. The first electronic toothbrush was made in 1939.

Today’s toothbrushes come in many shapes and sizes. They typically have plastic handles and nylon bristles. Handles can be straight, angled, curved, and contoured. Grips and soft rubber areas can be used to make them easier to hold. Toothbrush heads are smaller for children and larger for adults. The head of the toothbrush can be rectangular, oblong, oval, or almost round.

We encourage you to contact Kingsport Dentistry at 423-247-5175 today to learn more about toothbrushes and to schedule a visit with our dentist in Kingsport, Tennessee.