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
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