How lucky we are today to have toothbrushes. You just need to put the toothpaste onto the brush and brush away. In these modern times, you can walk in any grocery store, and you will find toothbrushes of many sizes and shapes.
From toothbrushes for kids to superior plaque removing electric toothbrushes are available in every country and every city of the world. And every household of the world has toothbrushes in their bathrooms. It is uncommon to be a citizen of the world and not be the proud owner of some kind of toothbrush.
They come in many colors with different brush designs to different handle designs. The one toothbrush is good for one thing, and another toothbrush is good for another thing, and they all have their design advantages. Some people have toothbrushes made with different benefits, and some people have different toothbrushes for every day of the week.
Others have toothbrushes from different manufacturers, and then others only use one brand of toothbrush. Some will just use the toothbrush they like, and others will buy a toothbrush in specific colors only.
Where Does the Toothbrush come from?
But did you ever think for one moment where does the toothbrush we take for granted comes from? How was the first one made, and who thought of the first toothbrush?
Who Made the First Toothbrush?
In ancient times people used many ways to clean their teeth. From sand rubbed onto the teeth with a finger, to cloth with some baking soda on it to get rid of the grime.
When was the First Real Toothbrush Made?
In the year 1223, a Japanese master of the Zen visited the huge country of China. There, while visiting the temples and schools of ancient China, he saw some of the monks cleaning their teeth with a kind of brush. The brush was made from the hair of a horse’s tail attached to a handle made from the bone of an ox.
This makeshift toothbrush must not have been very effective in removing plaque from the teeth because the hair from a horse’s tail is soft compared to the bristles we use in toothbrushes today. But it was a way to get the job done, well sort of.
The First Patented Toothbrush
But that was not the end of it. Like most people of ancient times, they did not stop there. On 26 June 1498, a Leader of China, Emperor Hongzhi from the Ming Dynasty, registered the first patent for a toothbrush.
This crude toothbrush’s bristles were made form the coarse hair on the neck of a hog. The handle was made from bamboo sticks, and the bristles were attached to it. These first Chinese toothbrushes were spread to the European countries by the English importer William Addis.
The First Modern Toothbrush
Many years later, another inventor from Europe invented the three-row toothbrush for better mouth hygiene management. This modern design of the toothbrush evolved into the toothbrush we know today as our daily companion for healthy teeth.
The Toothbrush We Know Today
But everything changes for the toothbrush with the invention of synthetic fibers like nylon. Nylon was a safer option to use because it was less likely to grow harmful bacteria like animal hair and thus replaced the animal hair as bristles for the toothbrush. It was still not the perfect toothbrush.
With a straight handle, it was still difficult to reach every corner at the back of the mouth, so the angled handle was invented. The bristles were placed closer together for more concentrated cleaning of the teeth.
And then they made it even better. The outer bristles were made longer for better cleaning between the teeth and gave us the modern toothbrush we have now for a healthier set of teeth.
Why is it Called A Toothbrush?
Why is it not called teeth-brush? We, after all, are not just cleaning just one tooth but all of our teeth. The toothbrush is derived from the countable noun and verb to form the word from the action of brushing your teeth with the toothbrush.
We are the lucky ones. Because of the innovation of the ancient people, we have a toothbrush to brush our teeth. After the invention of the first toothbrush, the way was paved for the modern toothbrush that evolved into the convenient oral hygienic toothbrush we know today.
And with the invention of electrical power, we have not just the nice convenient toothbrush, but it is also electric driven for even more ease and comfort. Thank you, old people, for your inventive spirit.