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On This Day in History: The Toothbrush was Invented

person brushing teeth

Here’s some interesting history of toothbrushes.

The concept of toothbrushes has been around since 3000 BC when ancient civilizations used thin twigs with frayed ends to rub against their teeth.  However, the bristle toothbrush that we know today first emerged in China in 1498. These first toothbrushes were made with the coarse hairs of pigs and boars inserted into a bamboo handle. Boar bristles were used until 1938 when the first nylon bristle toothbrush was invented.

Interested in learning more about the toothbrush?  Here’s more toothbrush facts.

1)  The average American will spend about 38 days brushing their teeth over their lifetime.

2)  In 2003, the toothbrush was named the number one invention that people couldn’t live without, beating out both cell phones and cars.

3)  Dentists recommend keeping toothbrushes 2 feet away from toilets, so that airborne bacteria and other microbes do not reach them when we flush.  Placing the toilet cover down before flushing also helps the overall atmosphere in the bathroom.

4)  Surveys show that 24% of people share their toothbrush with their partners.  18% share with their children and about 7% share with their friends.

5)  While dentists recommend brushing twice a day, one in ten people forgets to brush on a daily basis.

6)  Brushing teeth was not a common practice in the U.S. until after World War II.  This hygienic task only became popular after soldiers came home from the war and continued to brush their teeth regularly as the U.S. military had enforced.

7) While some people think that it’s better to cover their toothbrush after use, this isn’t recommended.  Capping a toothbrush prevents it from drying out and allows bacteria to grow in the bristles.  After using a toothbrush, dentists advise us to rinse it with water and allow it to air dry.

8) The bristles of a toothbrush wear out after six to sixteen weeks of use.  Dentists recommend replacing toothbrushes frequently to ensure that they are adequately scrubbing our teeth.

9) There are approximately 2,500 bristles on the average toothbrush.

We at The Maria Sanchez Show hope you will join us as we learn more about the toothbrush. Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown. Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PDT/7:00 p.m. EDT.

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