See Also: Toothpaste; Toothpicks; Tooth Trivia
The toothbrush as we know it today was not invented until 1938. However, early forms of the toothbrush have been in existence since 3000 BC. Ancient civilizations used a "chew stick," which was a thin twig with a frayed end. These 'chew sticks' were rubbed against the teeth.
The first real toothbrush was supposedly invented in China in 1498. It consisted of pig hair bristles wired into cattle-bone handles.
The first mass-produced toothbrush was made by William Addis of Clerkenwald, England, around 1780. On November 7, 1857, H.N. Wadsworth received the first American toothbrush patent. Mass production began in the U.S. about 1885.
Boar bristles were used until 1938, when nylon bristles were introduced by Dupont de Nemours. The first nylon toothbrush was called Doctor West's Miracle Toothbrush.
Tooth brushing didn't become routine in the U.S. until it was enforced on soldiers during WW II.
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