Intriguing Toothbrush Facts

You simply cannot have a good routine of oral hygiene without your trusty toothbrush. Sure, you could use a feather, or a porcupine quill, or your finger. You could even use a stick from a miswak tree. But it’s just not the same as that comfy handle with bristles (powered or not) that you and your mouth use every day.

At the Placerville Dental Group, we applaud your efforts to use your toothbrush twice a day, because that habit helps to keep your oral health intact. As big fans of this handy hygiene device, allow us to regale you with curious facts about the toothbrush.

  • The most popular color of toothbrush is blue.
  • The first recorded bristle toothbrushes were from China, constructed between the seventh and tenth centuries, and mostly made from the coarse hairs of cold-climate hogs, attached to bone or bamboo.
  • In the United States, the first patent for a toothbrush was in 1857, but one was not commercially available until 28 years later.
  • In 1938, nylon bristles hit the market, replacing the bristles made with animal hair (which often retained bacteria).
  • It wasn’t until after World War II that brushing daily became an everyday fact of American life. During that war, tooth care became mandatory for American soldiers.
  • The electric toothbrush became available in Switzerland by 1939. The United States had their first electric toothbrush on retail shelves in 1960, retailed by Squibb Pharmaceuticals.
  • In 2003, Americans indicated the toothbrush to be the #1 invention they could not live without — even over cars and cell phones!
  • The most expensive toothbrush on the American market is the Reinast Luxury Toothbrush, retailing at $4,200. It has an anti-bacterial coating, replaceable bristle heads, a 3-year service plan, and a titanium body.
  • Toothbrush bristles wear out within 6 to 16 weeks of use. Since worn out bristles don’t clean nearly as well, replace the bristles within that period.

Truly, the importance of this remarkable invention is not something to “brush off.” Do you know any fascinating bits of information about the toothbrush, or would you like to know more? Please, bring it up during your next checkup with the Placerville Dental Group. We’d love to hear from you!


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