Mighty Molars, It’s The History of The Toothbrush! 

“Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt(TOOTHBRUSH)…” 

        Ooooh, boy-Is this gonna be one fun response to a WordPress Daily Post Prompt, because today, I am going to tell you folks all about the most wonderful thing to clean your teeth(drumroll, please): THE TOOTHBRUSH!
        The toothbrush just happens to be an instrument of the oral hygiene kind, one that cleans not only your teeth, but your tongue and gums as well; The toothbrush consists of a head of tightly clustered bristles that are mounted on a handle which facilitates the cleaning of hard-to-reach areas of the mouth.

        The toothbrush comes in all shapes, sizes and colors, in so many different bristle textures, sizes, and forms; Using a soft toothbrush is mostly recommended by most dentists, since other toothbrushes of the hard-bristled kind can indeed damage tooth enamel while irritate the gums.

        Once upon a time, long before the toothbrush had been invented, the people of early ancient times had to find some way to brush their teeth after each meal-They had to use such things as chew sticks, tree twigs, bird feathers…(YUCK!)…and…animal bones.(BLEAH! But, ’tis true!) However, the early predecessor of the toothbrush is a surprising little thing called a chew stick, which are twigs with frayed ends used to brush the teeth while the other end is used as a toothpick; The earliest of the chew sticks had been discovered in a place by the name of Sumer Mesopotamia in 3500 BC, which is an Egyptian tomb that dates from 3000 BC, while it had been mentioned in the Chinese records dating from 1600 BC. Toothpicks were used by Greeks and Romans to clean their teeth while toothpick-like twigs have been excavated in the tombs of the Qin Dynasty; In Africa, the chew sticks remain a very common use for them to clean their teeth.

        The very first toothbrush made of bristle that would resemble the modern one was found in(of all places) China and were used during the Tang Dynasty(619-907); This toothbrush consisted of hog bristles(oink, oink, oink, indeed). The Chinese toothbrush bristles were attached to a handle that had been manufactured from either bone or bamboo, which would form a toothbrush, natch; The bristle toothbrush would then spread on to Europe by travelers, adopted there during the 17th century; Meanwhile, the very earliest use of the word toothbrush in English was in an autobiography of a man by the name of Anthony Wood, writing in 1690 that he had bought a toothbrush from J. Barret. 
        In 1857, the toothbrush was given its very first patent, and was granted to H.N. Wadsworth in the United States, but it would not be until 1885 that mass production of the toothbrush would get started; The toothbrush’s improved design had a bone handle with holes bored into it for the Siberian boar hair bristles…But unfortunately, animal bristle was definitely not the best ideal material, and do you want to know why? It retained bacteria.

        It would not be until after World War II that the brushing of the teeth would somehow become a daily routine; During the war, American soldiers had to clean their teeth each and every day. During the 1900s, the bone handles had been replaced by celluliod, while the synthetic fibers replaced animal bristles; The fibers were usually nylon, and were made in 1938 by DuPont. On February 24th of that very same year, the very first nylon toothbrush made with nylon yarn went on sale; Meanwhile, the Broxodent, the very first electric toothbrush, was invented in 1954 in Switzerland.
        In 1977, a certain leading medical supplies firm by the name of Johnson & Johnson had introduced the “REACH” toothbrush; This toothbrush differed from previous toothbrushes in three ways: It had an angled head, which is similar to dental instruments, to reach the back of the teeth. These bristles were more closely concentrated than ususal to clean every tooth of potentially cavity-causing materials, while the outer bristles were longer and softer than the inner bristles.

        Today, the toothbrush, battery-powered or not, remains the gold standard when it comes to the cleaning of the teeth…Even if the kids have been wolfing down on too much candy…


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