Who Invented The Toothbrush?

Who Invented The Toothbrush?


Today good oral hygiene is an accepted part
of almost everyone’s daily routine. but how did someone get the idea that putting straws
on a stick will somehow be good for your teeth? Humans have been cleaning their teeth for
thousands of years. The earliest known tool to do so was the babylonian chew sticks, 3.500
BC. Such chew sticks are still in use today, in fact, it is an important practice in the
Islamic world where it is considered a pious action. It is used for various moments such
as before prayer, traveling, or sleeping. The Greeks and Romans used toothpicks to clean
their teeth, in fact, they are still common in Africa. But these were chew sticks and
toothpicks and not atual toothBRUSHES. So where do they appear in history? They were
first invented in China in the 7th century and were made from coarse hairs of hogs living
in Siberia. These hogs evolved very stiff hair in response to the harsh climate, yielding
sturdy bristles. Tiny holes were inserted in bone or bamboo, then the hairs were inserted
and could be used similarly to how toothbrushes are used today. The toothbrush eventually made its way from
china into Europe a thousand years later. But the English found the hog hair too rough.
While toothbrushes were being imported from China, most people still cleaned their teeth
using rags rolled in salt or soot. For the next revolution in toothbrush technology
we have to go to prison. To a man named William Addis. Born in 1734, he sold finished paper
goods to London’s booksellers. These booksellers were not only the main supplier of books,
but also of medicine. In 1770 Addis was thrown in prison for inciting
a riot. There, with plenty of time on his hand… And a foul-smelling mouth. So Addis
decided that a rag was ineffective! He got a bone left over from diner and drilled small
holes in it. In the holes he inserted bristles, which he got from a sympathetic jailer. And
so Addis created the first modern toothbrush. At first he only used the toothbrush for personal
use but in the late 18th century people started eating more and more refined sugar. And as
people ate, their teeth began decaying. The only cure was to remove the teeth. And so
Addis saw potential in the market, he showed all his clients the toothbrush, and made a
small fortune. Addis’ enterprise grew into a prosperous
business, earning him a fortune. Upon his death his son took over and, to this day,
his company still makes toothbrushes, but under the name ‘Wisdom Toothbrushes’,
and produces 70 million toothbrushes per year in the UK. And although you can read on their
website about how their founder invented toothbrushes, they casually gloss over the fact that it
was invented in prison. Link in the description. But the next big innovation in toothbrush
technology took another 100 years, but it was the revolution which saw the rise of the
toothbrush we use today. You see, Up until the 20th century, bone and
bristle remained the primary resources of a toothbrush.
But everything changed with the invention of synthetic fibers, such as nylon. Nylon
was far less likely to grow harmful bacteria than traditional animal bristle brush and
far easier to produce. But the toothbrush still had one major flaw:
it was difficult to reach the back teeth. So the bristles were were placed on an angled
head. They also concentrated the bristles more closely to clean each tooth of cavity-causing
materials. The outer bristles were made longer and softer in order to clean better between
your teeth. And now we have arrived at the modern toothbrush,
from chew sticks, to prison, to the synthetic toothbrush we use today. If you like this video, give it a thumbs up.
If you’ve ever wondered about other medical history, watch my video on the history of
amputation. My next video will be a continuation on the Dutch Dike Building episode and talk
about the Dutch land reclamation projects. So if you want to see that and videos like
it when they come out, press the subscribe button. I make new videos all the time

Author: Kevin Mason

17 thoughts on “Who Invented The Toothbrush?

  1. wow, this was great! Even though your a small channel this video was
    very professional and well done that I wouldnt even guess this was a small channel

  2. when the Babylonians and the Egyptians made a brush by fraying the end of a twig. Tombs of the ancient Egyptians have been found containing toothsticks alongside their owners. Around 1600BC, the Chinese developed "chewing sticks" which were made from aromatic tree twigs to freshen breath.

    The Chinese are believed to have invented the first natural bristle toothbrush made from the bristles from pigs' necks in the 15th century, with the bristles attached to a bone or bamboo handle. When it was brought from China to Europe, this design was adapted and often used softer horsehairs which many Europeans preferred. Other designs in Europe used feathers.

    The first toothbrush of a more modern design was made by William Addis in England around 1780 – the handle was carved from cattle bone and the brush portion was still made from swine bristles. In 1844, the first 3-row bristle brush was designed.

    Natural bristles were the only source of bristles until Du Pont invented nylon. The invention of nylon started the development of the truly modern toothbrush in 1938, and by the 1950s softer nylon bristles were being made, as people preferred these. The first electric toothbrush was made in 1939 and the first electric toothbrush in the US was the Broxodent in 1960.

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