The History & Evolution of the Toothbrush

Geek insider, geekinsider, geekinsider. Com,, the history & evolution of the toothbrush, explainers

It’s something we’ve all used, or suppose to use, every day of our lives and as such, we rarely, if ever, give our toothbrushes much thought. You probably have your favorite one, whether traditional or electric, but chances are pretty high that you have little to no clue how its design came about.

Is it a modern invention? What did our ancestors use for oral hygiene?

Well, the answers may surprise you and since my inherent inquisitive mind and obsessiveness made me look into it, I thought I’d share a quick look at the history and evolution of the toothbrush.

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy You Know

Yeah, that was lame but I give myself an A for effort and since I make the rules, let’s add a couple of +’s to that A. 

Alright, back to the subject.

Arguably, the basic concept of the toothbrush hasn’t changed in over 5000 years. Okay, it has changed somewhat but the overall idea has always been the same.

And it all started waaaaaaay back in 3500 BC.

Yup! Archaeologists discovered tools they dubbed “Chewsticks” buried next to ancient Babylonians and it’s widely believed that they used these thin twigs with frayed ends to rub against their teeth in order to remove food and plaque.

Yeah I know, that barely resembles today’s toothbrushes. However, China did create the bristle toothbrush all the way back in 1498 and it has a lot of similarities to today’s options. They made handles out of bamboo or bone and attached small clips of stiff, coarse hairs from boar’s necks.

Okay… that doesn’t sound very appealing at all but I guess it was functional at least. 

Let’s fast forward.

Geek insider, geekinsider, geekinsider. Com,, the history & evolution of the toothbrush, explainers

Modern Versions

The hog hair version actually lasted hundreds of years but started dying out after Dupont de Nemours released Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush in 1938. This was the first toothbrush with nylon bristles and as you can imagine, it didn’t take long for Americans to start throwing away their old hairy toothbrushes.

So, the toothbrush most of you use today was created over 80 years ago. Heck, the first electric toothbrushes appeared in the late 50s/early 60s and most of them haven’t changed in design much at all.

Until now!

The Future is Here!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know! “That’s another lame one, Matthew.”

But it’s true.

If you’re like millions of others around the world, you’ve upgraded your home to include smart devices ranging from your water heater and shower heads to your lights, cameras, appliances, and more.

Well, guess what. The toothbrush has evolved to the point of actually being able to help you brush better!

“WTAF?” you say?

Yup… most people miss up to 40% of their teeth when using any of the options mentioned above and the hum by Colgate is a rechargeable smart toothbrush and app that guides you to brush better

The Bluetooth connected toothbrush with personalized brushing app helps you target trouble spots and ensure that you get the best results possible. Furthermore, there are three different sonic vibration levels: normal, sensitive, or deep clean. This means that everyone in the family can personalize their experience even more.

That in and of itself is cool but the hum by Colgate has several other great features:

  • It has expert-designed toothbrush heads with patented bristle technology.
  • Its soft toothbrush heads are easily replaceable. 
  • It has a 2-minute built-in timer and pulses every 30 seconds to help remind you to keep going.
  • The battery lasts 10-days on a single charge.
  • It has an ergonomic handle.
  • It has a 2-year warranty.
  • It’s available in 4 colors: Purple, teal, blue, and black.

See, we’ve not only come a long, long way from Chewsticks, our toothbrushes just went all 21st century on us.

And that’s a good thing! Because as I said, most of us only hit 60% of our teeth and the hum by Colgate makes the whole process a lot easier all the way around. And check it out, head over to Colgate right now and use Geek20 for 20% off this 21st century toothbrush.

Now you know a lot more about toothbrushes than you ever wanted to and of course with that innate curiosity of mine, I’m sure “school” will be back in session soon.

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