Interesting Facts and History of Toothbrush

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Brushing teeth is an important part of the dental health and hygiene. This simple personal hygiene tool is used in every household and replaced after some time. There are various kind and quality of toothbrushes for all age people. This article offers int

Brushing teeth is an important part of the dental health and hygiene. This simple personal hygiene tool is used in every household and replaced after some time. There are various kind and quality of toothbrushes for all age people. This article offers interesting facts and history about toothbrush. As average brushing takes 3 to 10 minutes each time, the useful life of a toothbrush is usually less than a month. It is therefore advisable to buy several toothbrushes for each member of the family in advance and replace them with new one after some time. 

Interesting facts about toothbrush:

  • In January 2003 the toothbrush was selected as the number one invention Americans could not live without according to the Lemelson-MIT Invention Index.
  • Contemporary toothbrushes are produced mechanically. The injection molding process involves forcing melted plastic pellets into a toothbrush mold and cooling it. The handle, head, and even the small holes are automatically formed.
  • Toothbrushes have usually been made from synthetic fiberssince they were developed, although animal bristles are still sometimes used.
  • Contemporary designs offer a variety of styles and shapes in as, in part because of price increases, but also As toothbrushes are replaced frequently there is a big market which has swelled to $600 million in the mid-1990.
  • On average each person in the United States purchases three toothbrushes every two years, although the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that brushes be changed every three to four months.
  • The best-selling toothbrushes during the 1990s were the Oral-B brand, produced by Gillette Co.; a range of toothbrushes from the Colgate Palmolive Co.; and the Reach toothbrush made by Johnson & Johnson.
  • The Reach toothbrush by Johnson & Johnson was the first toothbrush designed with an angled handle which was intended to make brushing back teeth easier. A later variation on the Reach brush included bristles in a zigzag design.
  • Colgate also offered an angled brush. One model, called Rippled Bristles, was designed to reach the plaque trapped between teeth. Gillette designed the Oral-B Indicator toothbrush that signaled the user to buy a new brush. The tips of the bristles were coated with a blue dye that would fade to white after about four months of use.
  • The Oral-B Plaque Remover featured taller, contoured bristles that Gillette claimed massaged the gums. SmithKline Beecham designed the AquaFresh Flex, with a flexible, angled handle intended to reduce the pressure put on gums and teeth.
  • The first mass-produced toothbrush was made by William Addis of Clerkenwald, England, around 1780.
  • The first American to patent a toothbrush was H. N. Wadsworth, (patent number 18,653,) on Nov. 7, 1857.
  • Mass production of toothbrushes began in America around 1885.
  • One of the first electric toothbrushes to hit the American market was in 1960. It was marketed by the Squibb company under the name Broxodent.
  • The first nylon bristle toothbrush, made with nylon yarn, went on sale on February 24, 1938.
  • The first electric toothbrush, the Broxodent, was invented in Switzerland in 1954.Today, nylon is widely used for the bristles and the handles are commonly made from thermoplastic materials.
  • An environmentally sound toothbrush was designed by Jack Hokanson. His Hoke2 brush featured a non-disposable handle with a replaceable bristle head.
  • Some of the most uniquely shaped brushes include the Radius, which featured a wide handle designed for an easier grasp and a large, shoe-brush shaped head packed with bristles.
  • The Collis Curve toothbrush featured bristles which curved inward so that they would hug the teeth, allowing the user to brush the front and back of the teeth at the same time.
  • Improvements in electric toothbrushes included battery-operated models, rotating heads, and tufts of rotating bristles.
  • A hightech electronic toothbrush, called the Interplak, featured two rows of bristles with tufts that would spin at 4200 rpm, constantly reversing direction, and pulsating against the teeth. The Interplak, as its name suggests, was designed to remove plaque. 

History of toothbrush:

As long ago as 3000 B.C. ancient Egyptians constructed crude toothbrushes from twigs and leaves to clean their teeth. Similarly, other cultures such as the Greeks, Romans, and Indians cleaned their teeth with twigs or a stick called miswak. (Muslim all around the world still use this natural toothbrush on the recommendation of their Prophet to use it as teeth cleaner and breath freshener.

By the 15th century the Chinese had designed a more sophisticated toothbrush complete with a brush attached to a handle. A century later the English nobility were using toothbrushes fashioned out of silver.

Toothbrush design has gone through few substantial changes in its long history. Until the early 1900s, toothbrush bristles were generally made of Siberian hog hair. But in 1938, the soft-bristled Miracle Tuft Toothbrush was invented. Within a decade, Oral-B was mass producing soft-bristled toothbrushes. In 1961, the electric toothbrush was introduced. Beginning in the late 1970s, the toothbrush industry started churning out a variety of new designs. They included variations in bristle shape, size, and texture, as well as unconventional handle styles.

By 1840 toothbrushes were being mass-produced in England, France, Germany, and Japan. Pig bristle was used for cheaper toothbrushes, and badger hair for the more expensive ones.

During the 1900s, celluloid handles gradually replaced bone handles in toothbrushes. Natural animal bristles were also 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. The first electric toothbrush, the Broxodent, was invented in Switzerland in 1954. Today, nylon is widely used for the bristles and the handles are commonly made from thermoplasticmaterials.

Reference: http://www.madehow.com

- Wikipedia

More studies:

The History of the Toothbrush

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