1. The first bristle toothbrush was invented in China way back in the year 700. Explorers brought back the idea of a bristle toothbrush to Europe in the 1600’s. These toothbrushes were made of hog or horse bristles. These were only used by the wealthy, as hog bristles were quite costly. Peasants used twigs to brush their teeth or went without brushing altogether.
2. The first nylon toothbrush was invented in 1938, and the first electric toothbrush was invented in 1939, but Americans didn’t regularly brush their teeth until after World War II, mainly because it was a requirement to brush your teeth in the army. Soldiers brought this good habit back home to their families after the war.
3. People have been wearing some false teeth since ancient times. Over the years many products have been tried from cloth, ivory, and bone to human teeth pulled out of corpses. Poor peasants would sometimes pull out their own teeth and sell them for money. The wealthier patron could afford false teeth made of silver or gold. George Washington’s “wooden” teeth were actually designed from the tusk of a hippopotamus.
4. A wide variety of objects have also been used to fill cavities. Over the years, dentists have tried wood, paper, cloth, stone, amber, lead, cork, aluminum, turpentine and gold.
5. It has been recently recommended that toothbrushes be kept 6 feet away from the toilet to avoid bacteria settling on them after a flush.
6. At the end of the 1800’s, dentists began reporting a surge in the amount of cavities found in their patients. The cause: sugary cola drinks. As a matter of fact, people who drink sugary colas are 62% more likely to develop cavities.
7. Original tooth-cleaners were simply meant to make the breath smell fresh. Different mixtures were used including those of mint, cinnamon, grass, honey, and flowers. Modern toothpaste containing baking soda began to appear in the 19th century. Fluoride became a common ingredient in toothpaste in 1956.
8. Americans buy over 14,000,000,000 gallons of toothpaste every year!
9. Not all cultures covet those perfectly straight pearly whites. In Japan, it is often considered trendy to have crooked teeth. Many women and men think crooked teeth make them look younger.