Toothbrush – Evolution of the Toothbrush

Published: 16th November 2010
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People are commonly brushing their teeth everyday to help maintain stronger teeth and to keep away from certain dental problems. Although almost everyone does brush their teeth, some still get dental problems. Others are due to irregular brushing of their teeth while some are inherited from the genes which are in some cases, unavoidable. The toothbrush or tandbørste is already a part of the lives of people that cannot be removed. It has played an important role in the everyday routine to help maintain cleanliness of the teeth.

People keep on brushing their teeth without knowing where it comes or how it looks like it was before it evolved to what they commonly use now.

  • The origin of toothbrush (Tandbørste in Danish) was through the idea of chewing-sticks in which the Babylonians used before in the year 3500 BC. Even in the literature study of Roman and Greek mentioned the use of primitive toothpicks that they used to chew on so that their teeth will be clean.
  • As years have passed the chewing-sticks evolved into that the size of a pencil. One end is used to chew onto until it becomes softened and look like a brush while the other end is pointed and is used to pick in between the teeth to take out the remaining food stuck in between the teeth. The twigs they use were carefully selected from trees with aromatic attributes in which it has the ability to freshen and clean the mouth. It was in the Chinese literature that mentioned the use of these aromatic twigs during the year 1600 BC.

  • There was then an invention of the toothbrush or tandbørste by the Chinese in the fifteenth century and was brought to the continent of Europe by a group of travelers. The toothbrush that was brought there was made from the hair of a Siberian boar and that it was attached to a bone handle or bamboo. The people find it hard and too stiff for the teeth which are very uncomfortable. During this time most of the people of the west did not brush their teeth and some of them preferred the hair of the horse which are softer than the hair of the Siberian boar.

  • Nylon was then created in the twentieth century that it was incorporated into the toothbrush.
  • The handles of the toothbrush in this century were made of bones from the cattle and then bored some holes on the head in which the natural bristles were placed and to keep it in the same place, it was placed with a very thin wire.


The toothbrush (or Tandbørste in Danish)that is commonly seen today was made in the 1937 in which the nylon used was invented by Wallace Carothers.

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