Keystone Industries recently posted several blogs about toothbrushes. But where did they come from? How did they originate? When did they become mainstream? Well, the history of the toothbrush is quite interesting…
A recent New York Times article explained the history of the toothbrush. The toothbrush is now a staple in nearly anyone’s hygiene repertoire. Is it one of the greatest inventions? Well, that can be argued, especially if you like keeping your teeth clean.
The toothbrush can be tracked nearly 5,000 years ago when people used softened ends of sticks to clean teeth. But the actual toothbrush originated in China around the time of the Middle Ages. During this time, people started cleaning their teeth with animal bristles.
Still, though, people preferred wiping their teeth down with a rag. And as late as the 1920s, people did not brush their teeth regularly. The bristles were tough and easily tore up mouths. So the toothbrush wasn’t mainstream until the 1940 when synthetics came into play.
Plastics enabled more mouth-friendly toothbrushes. After that, toothbrushes started to skyrocket. Now we have hundreds of styles, shapes and brands of toothbrushes. Open up a medicine cabinet and you’re sure to find a toothbrush. And now there are even eclectic toothbrushes. Quite an evolution from just a frayed stick!