First toothbrush facts:
Earliest records of a toothbrush can be found in Chinese literature from 1600 AD.
Hairs taken from the necks and shoulders of pigs in colder climates, such as Siberia and China, were the natural bristle in early toothbrushes.
William Addis of Clerkenwald, England invented the first mass-produced toothbrush, England in 1780.
The electric toothbrush was first introduced in 1939.
Early dental hygiene facts:
Toothpaste can be traced back to 500 BC in the ancient countries of China and India.
Modern toothpaste, which comes in collapsible tubes, was introduced in the 1850’s. Fluoride wasn’t added to toothpaste until 1956.
Dental floss was first manufactured in 1882, in Massachusetts, USA, and was made of silk. Recently, some floss has been made of Gore-Tex.
Toothpicks haven’t always been made of wood or plastic. In ancient times, people used combination “tooth/ear pickers” made of bone, quills, silver or gold.
First dentistry facts:
The first ‘silver’ dental fillings, were introduced back in 1829.
The first “braces” were constructed by Pierre Fauchard in 1728, and consisted of a flat strip of metal which was held to teeth by pieces of thread.
Orthodontic brackets were invented by Edward Angle in 1915. These brackets had small metal hooks attached to bands, which were placed around your teeth.
Exposure time for early dental x-rays was as long as 20 minutes for each picture. Consequently patients had to be perfectly still for the entire period.
Wedding dental facts:
As recently as the 1950’s, dentures were given as part of the wife’s dowry in Ireland and parts of the UK, to offset the future costs of dental care. The women could then have all their teeth extracted in advance! In parts of south-west Wales, this was known as ‘the Valley dowry’.