Toothbrush & Toothpastes

Toothbrush Toothpaste


The first commercial toothbrush was invented by Goldstein and Hautman in 1875

Toothbrushes are offered with varying textures of bristles and come in many different sizes and forms.

Most dentists recommend using a toothbrush labelled "soft", since firmer bristled toothbrushes can damage tooth enamel and irritate gums. Toothbrushes are often made from synthetic fibers, although natural toothbrushes are also known in many parts of the world.

History of Toothbrush
Ancient Toothbrush Items that has been used as toothbrush by mankind:

  • Chewsticks.
  • Tree twigs.
  • Bird feathers.
  • Animal bones.
  • Porcupine quills.

The first modern idea of a toothbrush is believed to have been invented in China in the late 1400's by the Chinese, which used the stiff hairs from a hog's neck, attached to a bamboo stick.

Miswak Toothbrush

Ancient Indian medicine has used the neem tree and its products to create toothbrushes In the Muslim world, the miswak, or siwak, made from a twig or root with antiseptic properties is widely used.

Old Advertisement

A photo from 1899
showing the use of toothbrush.

Modern Toothbrush
William Addis of England is credited with creating the first mass-produced toothbrush in 1780. He soon became very wealthy. He died in the year 1808 and left the business to his eldest son, William II.

The first patent for a toothbrush was by H. N. Wadsworth in 1857 (US Patent No. 18,653) in the United States, but mass production of the product in America only started in 1885. The rather advanced design had a bone handle with holes bored into it for the Siberian Boar hair bristles.

Natural bristles (from animal hair) were replaced by synthetic fibers, usually nylon, by DuPont in 1938. The first nylon bristle toothbrush, made with nylon yarn, went on sale on February 24, 1938.

Modern Toothbrush

A child being shown
how to use a toothbrush.

Electric Toothbrush
The first electric toothbrush was developed in 1939 in Scotland, but did not appear on the open market until the 1960s, when it was marketed as the Broxodent in the United States by Squibb. In 1961, General Electric introduced a rechargeable cordless toothbrush that moved up and down when activated.

In 1987, the first rotary action toothbrush for home use, the Interplak, appeared in shops for the general public. There are currently many different varieties of model that use this mechanism.

Power Toothbrush
Electric toothbrush (with charger).


Toothpaste use can promote good oral hygiene. Use of good toothpaste provides the following benefits:

  • It can aid in the removal of dental plaque and food from the teeth.
  • It can aid in the elimination and/or masking of halitosis.
  • It can deliver active ingredients such as fluoride to prevent tooth and gums disease.
In most or all developed countries, usage after each meal is encouraged.

Toothpaste Milestones
  • 4th century AD: The earliest known reference to a toothpaste is in a manuscript from Egypt which prescribes a mixture of powdered salt, pepper, mint leaves, and iris flowers.
  • In 1892: Dr. Washington Sheffield of New London, Connecticut manufactured toothpaste into a collapsible tube. Sheffield's toothpaste was called Dr. Sheffield's Creme Dentifrice. He first came up with the idea of toothpaste in a collapsible tube after his son traveled to Paris and saw painters using paint from tubes.
  • In 1896: Colgate Dental Cream was packaged in collapsible tubes.
  • In 1914: Fluoride was first added to toothpastes.
  • In 1960: The American Dental Association acknowledged the efficacy of flouride in Crest toothpastes.

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