Fascinating Toothbrush Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

 In General Dentistry

You use your toothbrush every day (well, hopefully), but just how much do you actually know about this humble invention?  Since the first bristled toothbrush was invented in China during the Tang Dynasty (619 – 907), this life-saving device has come a long way!  Just take a look at these fascinating facts, and see for yourself:

  • Contrary to popular belief, putting a cap on over your toothbrush is actually a bad idea, as it traps moisture that can lead to bacteria growth.  
  • Toothbrushes should be kept at least two feet away from toilets to avoid airborne bacteria particles that can spread when flushing.  
  • The first bristled toothbrush, made with nylon yarn, first went on sale in February of 1938.   
  • Until the first soft-bristled toothbrush was invented in 1938, bristles were generally made of Siberian hog hair.
  • William Addis, of England, made the first mass-produced toothbrush.
  • Studies show that a surprising 1 in 10 people admit they regularly forget to brush their teeth.
  • The Broxodent, the first electric toothbrush, was invented in Switzerland in 1954.  
  • The first electric toothbrush was sold in the U.S. in 1960.
  • In the past, pig bristles were used to make cheaper toothbrushes.  Badger hair was used for more expensive ones.
  • Toothbrush bristles are grouped in clumps of around 40 tufts.
  • The average toothbrush is made up of roughly 2,500 bristles.
  • Tooth brushing didn’t become routine in the U.S. until after World War II when soldiers came home.  This habit carried from the Army’s enforced tooth brushing.
  • It doesn’t matter if you floss first or brush first so long as the job is done thoroughly.  
  • The best way to keep your toothbrush clean is to rinse it with water after use, and store it upright to air dry.  And, if you’re storing more than one brush, it’s recommended that you separate them to avoid cross contamination.
  • A toothbrush is actually a life-saving device, as regular use of it can reduce your chances of developing periodontal disease, which can increase your risk of things like cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and even pneumonia.
  • You shouldn’t share your toothbrush due to basic hygiene concerns, but also because of the risk of transmitting diseases that can be spread by blood.
  • A worn toothbrush can’t clean your teeth very well.  So, it’s recommended that you replace your brush roughly every 6 – 16 weeks.  
  • If you brush your teeth after each main meal, that’s three times a day, you can burn more than 3,500 calories each year!
  • Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes per session.  
  • You should replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick, as germs left in the bristles can actually lead to re-infection.
  • It’s estimated that Americans spend over $850 million on toothbrushes each year.  

Toothbrushes are wonderful devices that we highly recommend using each and every day!  Through good at-home oral care practices and sticking to your regular bi-annual in-office checkups, you can maintain your oral health and keep your smile shining bright.   

Recent Posts
symptoms of oral cancer