Cleaning your teeth has always been something that dentists have tried to drill into people’s heads (pun intended!) to ensure everyone has healthy, clean teeth for their whole lives. Over the years different products have come and gone and people have tried all manner of way to clean their teeth. But what are common ways nowadays to keep your pearly whites pearly? And how did they do it back in older times? Here is a short history of cleaning teeth and how people have done it over the years.
The earliest toothbrushes were typically nothing more than sticks or twigs, occasionally frayed at one end to allow for better cleaning in the very tight nooks and crannies between teeth. The ancient Egyptians used sticks and leaves to clean their teeth, as did Arabs and Muslims from a number of countries, a habit that passed to Europeans after they’d made contact in Africa and Asia where people seemed to keep their teeth in good repair into elderly age.
The first toothbrush in Europe was officially developed in England in the late 1700s by a man named William Addis who created the first modern styled brush by drilling holes into the bone of a sheep and pulling boar hairs through them. While this was the first such invention of its kind in Europe, a similar and much earlier style did exist in parts of Asia for about four hundred years prior.
These days toothbrushes are typically made of plastic and synthetic fibres for the bristles, styled in a variety of ways that promist to be able to reach even the smallest of nooks and crannies in between teeth. Better still is waterpik – a high pressure water based tooth cleaner which uses a combination of water and pressure to clean each tooth. The addition of gel and powder toothpaste has come a long way in helping to keep teeth healthier for longer. Of course, a trip to your local Exeter dentist is never a bad plan either!
Oral hygiene and health has always been a keen interest for many cultures, eventually moving its way through Europe to become what it is today. With so many great ways to keep your teeth clean – many of which are simple and quick to do from in your own home, it’s easy to see why toothbrushing took off. After all, it’s a small price to pay to keep your teeth white and healthy for life!