When did toothbrushes and toothpaste first come into our Personal Hygiene?
Historians have traced the first toothbrushes to 11-th Century China. These were made of bristles from Siberian hogs.During dark ages in Europe, dental hygiene consisted of using the tip of a knife as a toothpick.

When hog-bristle toothbrushes came to Europe in the 15th Century, many people found the bristles too stiff,and preferred toothpicks. Other people used horse hair or badger hair brushes, which were too soft to do much good.

Nonetheless, in England by the late 19th century, mass production of hog-bristle toothbrushes was underway.

It wasnt until 1938, in the United States, that toothbrushes made of synthetic nylon were introduced. Again, people found them too stiff. Finally in the 1950s, softer nylon brushes arrived.

As for toothpaste, its earliest recorded recipe was found in an Egyptian tomb dating back 400 years. Since it contained strong vinegar along with powdered pumice stone, it actually wore down tooth enamel, causing decay.

The Romans had similar recipes, with similar results, but one of their ingredients was urine. The ammonia found in urine may offer protection against decay, and ammonia compounds are still used in some toothpastes today.

Up until the 19th century, toothpastes were doing as much harm as good. But they continued to evolve, and after World War II modern toothpaste was produced. The introduction of flouride in 1956 caused a dramatic drop in cavities.

The above appeared in Facts of Life, RD ASIA 
April 2005


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!