History of the Toothbrush


Dental Cleanings & Exams in Tempe, AZ

Tempe Smiles Family Dental is a full-service dental office in Tempe, AZ that provides premier dental cleanings and exams. Our knowledgeable and experienced dentists are devoted to providing our patients with the best possible preventative dentistry services. We even provide oral cancer screenings.

What Happens When You Don’t Brush Your Teeth?

When you don’t brush your teeth regularly, plaque can build up on the surface of your teeth and eventually harden into tartar, allowing the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and prosper. This bacteria can then enter your gums and cause infection. Dental exams and cleanings can ensure that any built-up plaque can be effectively removed so that it doesn’t harden into tartar, thus decreasing your chances of incurring an infection. Regular oral hygiene begins with brushing your teeth at home. When you don’t brush your teeth regularly, you also increase your chances of cavities, bad breath, gum disease, tooth loss, and more. Reach out to our team today to schedule a dental exam and cleaning.

The Difference Between Plaque & Tartar

Dental plaque is the soft, sticky filmy substance that builds up on the surface of your teeth and under your gums over time. It contains a lot of bacteria and has the potential to erode your tooth enamel and cause cavities. Dental tartar is what dental plaque turns into if it’s not removed. Unlike plaque, tartar is difficult to remove and can only be removed by a dental professional.

What is the History of the Toothbrush?

We all use a toothbrush multiple times throughout the day, but did you ever wonder where it came from? The history of the toothbrush is a fascinating story that will make you wonder what other everyday necessities have actually been around for ages!

The first signs of a toothbrush being used by human beings dates back to 3500 B.C. in ancient Egypt. The Babylonians and Egyptians would chew on a stick about six inches long until one end would become soft like a brush. They would use this softened twig to brush and pick between their teeth. In 1600 B.C., the ancient Chinese even used aromatic tree twigs to chew on and give them fresh breath.

The Chinese invented a toothbrush in the 1400s, made from bamboo and tough hog hair. The Europeans soon changed out the hog hair for softer horse hairs as bristles, and by 1690, the word “toothbrush” began making its way around the world as French dentists started promoting its use as a way to keep your mouth clean. By 1780, the first modern toothbrush was invented by an English prison inmate William Addis. Almost 100 years later, after being redesigned and patented by Dr. Meyer Rhein, and later by H.N. Wadsworth, American companies began mass-producing toothbrushes.

In the 1940s, the toothbrush began to gain popularity among the masses. At this time, synthetic nylon bristles were released, and most people preferred them because they were softer and more hygienic. By the 50s, electronic toothbrushes started hitting the market, and around the late 80s, rotary action toothbrushes were all the rage.

Today, toothbrushes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Heads, handles, and bristles can all be customized to an individual’s unique liking. Over time, toothbrushes have evolved from tools to advanced pieces of machinery.

Call Today to Schedule Your Dental Cleaning

The family dentists at Tempe Smiles Family Dental can help you find the perfect toothbrush for your unique needs. Whether you need a dental cleaning, a dental exam, or a dental deep cleaning, we’ve got you covered. To learn more about the preventive dentistry services we offer or to schedule an appointment at our Tempe office, contact us today. We look forward to serving your dental needs.