Ode to the Toothbrush – Our Favorite Dental Tool Through the Years

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Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday, dear toothbrush! Wait, did you not know today is National Toothbrush Day? To celebrate this auspicious occasion, enjoy these interesting facts about this healthcare tool we use at least twice a day, every day of our lives!

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  • Early forms of this dental standby date back to 3000 B.C. and were basically a thin twig with frayed ends.
  • The basis for the bristle toothbrush we use today was invented in 1498 in China using stiff hairs from the back of a hog’s neck which were then affixed to a bone or bamboo handle.
  • H. N. Wadsworth was the first American to patent a toothbrush in 1857, using animal bone and swine hair. Mass production of toothbrushes in the U.S. began in 1885.
  • The toothbrush as we know it was invented in 1938 by Dupont de Nemours. It had nylon bristles and was called Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush. It was preferable to previous models as the synthetic bristles were safer and more hygienic than animal hair.
  • American soldiers returning home from WWII brought this healthy habit home with them and helped spread the practice throughout the country.
  • In 1939, the first electric version was invented in Switzerland. Squibb was the first company to make an American version in the 1960s.
  • In 2003, the toothbrush was voted the number one invention people can’t live without, beating the computer, cell phone, and automobile.
  • https://www.padental.org/Online/Public/Children/Invention%20of%20Toothbrush.aspx
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