The Toothbrush

The toothbrush. Such an important and useful *tool* that we use everyday. Which we take for granted, of course! 🙂

The toothbrush has not always existed as we know it. Obviously. 

It originated with the toothstick. Toothsticks have been found in well preserved Egyptians tombs. That was over 5000 years ago. Even before that, it has been found that the Mesopotamians wrote of the ‘siwak’ (another version of the basic toothstick).  The toothsticks of those times were made from “porcupine quills, bird feathers, or wooden thorns.”  To this day, in the middle east, people still use the toothsticks to clean their mouth. 

After the toothstick, comes the first toothbrush. The first toothbrush has been invented by William Addis of Clerkenwall, England. It came from the practice of using rags or sponges, dripped in sulphur oil or salt solution to clean the teeth. However, when doing so, the teeth were simply being ‘mopped’ and not brushed! 😛 Hence Addis had the great idea of attaching ” hairs from the tail of a cow to the end of a whittled thighbone from the same animal, which was reportedly the only bone strong enough to survive the bristle-attachment procedure and still maintain its strength when wet.” 

During the world war I, bones became a high demand in the food market and hence causing a shortage for the toothbrush market. A new material for the handle had to be found. Celluloid was the answer. A new way of attaching the bristles was also developped in the 1920’s: “drilling holes into the brush head, forcing in bunches of bristles, and securing them with a staple…” 

Nylon bristles  later on became a good replacement to boar’s hairs or hairs from cow tails. 

From then, we have the modern toothbrush. Oh, the brands, the styles and the colors are endless! Each manufacturer stresses the quality of their toothbrush. Some are good. Some just ain’t!

By the way, it is very important to choose a good and effective toothbrush…atleast for those who are *orally conscious* 😀