March isn’t an exciting time of the year. The so-called “winter season” is winding down here in Naples in Southwest Florida and while our weather is usually pretty good, it’s going to get better as we dive headlong into beach season in the coming weeks – of course, there’s hurricane season, too, but that’s another story.
So, let me revive a series of blog entries that I’ve written about toothbrushes. Not only are they the foundation to maintaining your oral health, but they have a wonderful history and there’s actually a proper way to maintain them.
So, as March begins to give way to April, here we go …
- Toothbrushes have been in use since approximately 3000 BC.
- Some of the earliest toothbrushes were “chew sticks” (a twig with a frayed end).
- The bristle toothbrush was invented in China in 1498 and the bristles were taken from the back of a hog’s neck.
- 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, – yes, the second comma is there) 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.
Check out the Library of Congress’ toothbrush page at: http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/tooth.html.