Ever wondered how the twice-daily ritual of brushing our teeth began? Here are some fascinating facts on the origins of the toothbrush, toothpaste, and the dental industry.
- Natural bristle brushes were invented by the ancient Chinese who made toothbrushes with bristles from the necks of cold climate pigs.
- According to sources, the first toothbrushes were that of the ancient Babylonians around 3500 BC who practiced tooth brushing by using frayed ends of twigs—ouch!
- William Addis of Clerkenwald, England, created the first mass-produced toothbrush.
- The first American to patent a toothbrush was H. N. Wadsworth and many American Companies began to mass-produce toothbrushes after 1885.
- The Pro-phy-lac-tic brush made by the Florence Manufacturing Company of Massachusetts is one example of an early American made toothbrush.
- The Florence Manufacturing Company was also the first to sell toothbrushes packaged in boxes. In 1938, DuPont manufactured the first nylon bristle toothbrushes.
- Most Americans did not brush their teeth until Army soldiers brought their enforced habits of tooth brushing back home after World War II.
- The first real electric toothbrush was produced in 1939, and developed in Switzerland.
- Toothpaste was used as long ago as 500 BC in both China and India; however, modern toothpastes were developed in the 1800s.
- In 1873, Colgate mass-produced the first toothpaste in a jar. In 1892, Dr. Washington Sheffield of Connecticut manufactured toothpaste into a collapsible tube. Sheffield’s toothpaste was called Dr. Sheffield’s Creme Dentifrice. In 1896, Colgate Dental Cream was packaged in collapsible tubes imitating Sheffield
- In 1848, Waldo Hanchett patented the dental chair.
Next time you brush your teeth, be lucky it’s not with a toothbrush made of pigs or twigs!
And come visit us at West Bloomington’s Krengel Dental to take advantage of all the benefits of modern dentistry!