As long ago as 3000 BC, people have been using anything from a twig, to feathers or bones to clean their teeth.  The bristle toothbrush, similar to the type we use today was invented in China in 1498 with bristles made of coarse hairs taken from the back of a hog’s neck and attached to a bamboo stick or bone.

William Addis of England is credited with creating the first mass-produced toothbrush in 1780.  In 1770 he had been placed in jail for causing a riot.  While in prison, he decided that the method for teeth brushing of the time (rubbing a rag on one’s teeth with soot and salt) could be improved.  He took a small animal bone, drilled small holes in it, obtained some bristles from a guard, passed the bristles through the holes on the bone and glued them.

Boar hair was not an ideal material because it retained bacteria, and didn’t dry well.  The Boar hair bristles were used until 1938, when nylon bristles were introduced by Dupont de Nemours.  The first nylon bristle toothbrush, made with nylon yarn, went for sale on February 24, 1938, and was called Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush.

In January 2003, the toothbrush was selected as the number one invention Americans could not live without, beating out cars, computers, mobile/cell phones and microwave ovens.

On average the Tooth Fairy is paying $2 per tooth according to Money Magazine

32% of Americans cite bad breath as the least attractive trait of their co-workers

The average American will spend 38.5 total days brushing their teeth over a lifetime

73% of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss

Dentist recommend that a toothbrush be kept at least six feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles released when flushing the toilet.

Adults with post-high-school degrees had an average of three more teeth than those without a high school diploma

Just like a fingerprint….everyone has a different tounge print

The most valuable tooth belonged to Sir Isaac Newton.  In 1816 one of his teeth sold in London for $3,633.00 (In today’s terms $25,700.00)  The tooth was set into a ring

You should replace your toothbrush often….to destroy built up bacteria, you can wash your toothbrush in the dishwasher.



  1. I went to a Frontier museum once and they had a toothbrush hanging on the wall with a plaque that explained that it was a communal toothbrush shared by all who traveled together on the trail. Ah yes, so grateful to be living in this day and age, haha!

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