Dental hygiene, including the use of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss, has gone on for hundreds of years. Over time, humans have changed and improved these materials, hence improving our quality of hygiene. It is important that we learn from the past, so that we can take even better care of our teeth in the future. "Good oral hygiene and oral health can improve your overall health, reducing the risk of serious disease and perhaps even preserving your memory in your golden years." (Drescher).
The Chinese created the first real toothbrush or tooth-cleaning device. The bristles came from the backs of Siberian wild boar while the handle was composed of bamboo. This invention was made during the fifteenth century, and the idea spread rapidly. "The Chinese version of the toothbrush spread to Europe, where the Siberian wild boar took the brunt of the growing popularity of the invention." (Blain) Other than this version, there is evidence of an even earlier toothbrush from Egyptian times. .
Approximately three thousand years before the birth of Christ, Egyptians were buried with uniquely shaped sticks. "Unlike the Chinese version of the toothbrush, the end of the stick was flayed so that the fibers of the wood were more soft. "Unlike the Chinese version of the toothbrush, the end of the stick was flayed so that the fibers of the wood were more soft." (Blain) Obviously, this kind toothbrush did not become as popular as the Chinese'. .
Going back to China, the main problem with the toothbrush was the bristles. They were very hard on people's gums, so individuals started to use horse main and hair. Unfortunately, boar hair continued to be used in majority due to the value of horses during that time period. This trend continued until "a more modern design was made by William Addis in England around 1780" (History). William's toothbrush had a handle carved from cattle bone and the brush consisted of swine bristles.