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A Brief History of the Toothbrush

A Brief History of the Toothbrush

Toothbrushes, in one form or another, have been in use for millennia. In modern times we have endless choices, from the classic manual to sonic vibrations. But how did we get here? Read on to discover the history of the humble toothbrush, which has been helping people achieve better breath and sparkling teeth for as long as it's been in existence…

The first known ‘toothbrushes’ were actually frayed twigs, which were chewed on by Egyptians and Babylonians as early as 3500-3000 B.C! It’s generally agreed that the first tools resembling what we would recognise as toothbrushes today first came from China in the 1400s. These Chinese toothbrushes used natural pig hair for bristles and had handles made from bamboo or bone! 

The first modern toothbrush was invented in England in the 1870s by a man named William Addis, who returned to the use of pig hair, and not long after added two more rows of bristles to create a more familiar looking bristle head. Less than a century later, in 1938, Nylon (the company) started developing the modern manual toothbrush, which was easily available with softer and more hygienic nylon bristles by the 1950s. 

The first contemporary electric toothbrush was invented in Switzerland in 1954 - however this was a corded model which connected to a standard wall outlet, which today would be considered very dangerous! The first rechargeable, cordless model was introduced into the mass market in 1961 and gained wide popularity.

As electric toothbrushes became more popular, various companies started tinkering with the design aspects to give new and improved functionality. Some electric models vibrate, so the bristles move side to side, similarly to when using a manual toothbrush (but at a much higher rate of movement), while others oscillate in a circular motion, which works well when the user moves from tooth to tooth.

And then came the sonic revolution! Sonic toothbrushes could move side to side or in a rotation, like other electric toothbrushes, but were invented to have a much higher rate of movement (which means more and better brushing!) Sonic brushes move so fast that they create an audible hum, and require less effort from the user - all you need to do is slowly sweep the brush head against your teeth, and let the sonic vibrations and bristle movements do the rest!

When it comes to choosing toothbrushes, the options can seem overwhelming, and many people continue to opt for manual toothbrushes rather than investing in an expensive electric model - only to then find out that it wasn’t quite the right fit! If you are interested in switching to an electronic sonic model but are worried about the costs, we recommend trying our Sonisk Pulse Portable Sonic Toothbrush range - at only £9.99 these powerful toothbrushes won’t break the bank, and have the added benefit of a hygienic travel cap, so you can can keep yours on you wherever you are!

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