The Interesting Story Behind the Toothbrush

smiling guy
5 Fantastic Benefits of a Beautiful, Healthy Smile
November 10, 2014
birth announcement photos
4 Ways to Keep A Bright Smile for Birth Announcement Photos!
December 12, 2014
Show all

The Interesting Story Behind the Toothbrush


Have you ever brushed your teeth and thought, “Hmm, I wonder where the toothbrush came from or who even thought of coming up with this nifty invention?” We’re so lucky to have a handy little instrument that helps fight plaque and prevents gingivitis and a slew of other maladies of the mouth and teeth. But whom do we have to thank for this great gadget?

The story of the toothbrush’s history is an interesting one, a story that goes back to the earliest of 1690, when the word “toothbrush” was first mentioned and written into an autobiography. Decades later, William Addis wound up creating the very first modern toothbrushes from cattle bone and swine bristles, and he did this while he was in prison in England! The French dentists were the first to promote using a toothbrush for hygienic health.

Later in 1857, H. N. Wadsworth was the very first to patent the toothbrush. In less than 30 years, mass production of the toothbrush began in America. In 1938, toothbrushes started to become similar to the instruments we use today – they featured nylon synthetic bristles, which were softer and gentler on the teeth and enamel yet more hygienic than the hard hair bristles that were being used at the time.

After World War II, our soldiers began bringing the tooth-brushing habit home with them to the States! Meanwhile in Switzerland, the very first electric toothbrush was produced in 1954. In just 7 years, the rechargeable/cordless electric toothbrush emerged!

Eleven years ago, the toothbrush was declared as the #1 invention that people cannot live without, and for good reason! There’s nothing that can do the job that a toothbrush does, after all. Now we are lucky enough to enjoy toothbrushes that vary in head shape, bristle hardness, and handle curve. They are gentle on the gums and teeth but are tough on the plaque and bacteria that enter our mouths every day. We also have an array of mouthwash products, floss, and other dental hygiene tools to keep our mouths happy and healthy.

Next time you brush your teeth, keep this history in the back of your mind and thank your lucky stars that the toothbrush was invented – they help maintain great oral health and help fight cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease! Remember to take good care of your toothbrush and switch it out every 3 months for optimum care.

Toothbrushes can do a number of fantastic things, but they can’t do everything by themselves. That’s why Foley Dental Group is here! We can take excellent care of your teeth while you kick back and relax in our cozy chairs and watch your favorite show! Just call us at (618) 288-9670 or find us online at to request an appointment.