No one invention in dental history is more appreciated than the toothbrush. Natural bristle brushes were first introduced by the ancient Chinese. These early dental inventors first devised the toothbrush using natural bristles attached to the bones of cold climate pigs.
French dentists were the first to introduce toothbrushes to European culture in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century. William Addis of England was the first individual in history to promote the toothbrush commercially in Europe, prompting many individuals to rethink their personal dental care.
After the Civil War, American H.N. Wadsworth began to manufacture and sell the first mass produced toothbrush. The earliest commercial-style brush was produced in Massachusetts by the Florence Manufacturing Company. The brush was called the Pro-phy-lac-tic. Try saying that ten times fast.
Nylon bristle toothbrushes became popular around 1938. The first nylon style brush was produced by the DuPont Company. According to statistics, the act of brushing one's teeth did not gain in popularity until WWII, when soldiers got in the habit of brushing during boot camp.
The first electric toothbrush ever made was designed and developed in Switzerland in 1939. The Squibb company perfected the electric toothbrush in 1960 and began distribution in America (to dentist offices only) around the same
time, it was called the Broxodent. Electric cordless toothbrushes were not available to the public in America until 1987 from a company called Interplak.
Toothpaste has been proven to be in existence as early as 500BC. The earliest users of toothpaste were the ancient inhabitants of China and India. Modern style toothpaste was developed in the early 1800s. An American by the name of John Harris was the first to ever add chalk as an ingredient of toothpaste. Dr. Washington Sheffield of Connecticut was the first person to introduce toothpaste in a tube. Colgate adapted Sheffield's design and later added detergents and flouride to the mix for better tooth maintenance.
Dental history facts are fun, but if you are looking for a modern, hi tech, Gettysburg dentist, look to the future at Samuels Dental Arts P.C.!
Article submitted by: Peter J. Samuels, DDS