The history of the toothbrush

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It’s actually quite remarkable that our toothbrush, as we know it today, only goes back about 100 years. Of course, this doesn’t mean that prior to this useful invention people had self-cleaning teeth.

Hygiene beyond death


The first indications of conscious cleaning of the choppers stem from ancient Egypt. Small sticks have been found among the funerary objects of pharaohs. Apparently a clean smile was also important in the afterlife. But what was this dental object anyway? The pen-size twigs came from a so-called toothbrush tree, also called saltbush or mustard tree. The twigs were carefully chewed until they became frayed and could be used as a toothbrush. Any wood stuck between the teeth was then simply spit out. Even today, there are indigenous peoples who brush their teeth with wood from the toothbrush tree.

The first precursors

In 1500, a bit further to the east and namely in China to be precise, someone lit on the idea of attaching razorback bristles onto bone or bamboo rods. The first real toothbrush was born. In these parts the first indications of a toothbrush appeared 250 years later. Similar to the Far East, horsehair and animal bones were employed. But it was unaffordable to most, so welcoming smiles were reserved only for royalty. In 1935 the commercialization of dental oral hygiene finally began, thanks to a British citizen, Wallace Hume Carothers. He invented nylon, the artificial fiber. Still today we find this material in the bristles of our brushes.

The quantum leap

Until recently, however, and aside from the electric toothbrush which hit the market in the 80s, not much has happened. Until last year. Thanks to the inventive genius of a young man named Marvin Musialek, there is now the fully automatic toothbrush AMABRUSH. Its mission: to simplify tooth brushing. Its promise: clean teeth within 10 seconds.

The difference

How then is this technological innovation different from conventional brushes? Visually it does not have much in common with our tried-and-true electric toothbrush – it looks more like the mouth guard of a boxer. The mouth piece, furnished with silicone bristles, adapts to every set of teeth. The right amount of toothpaste comes out of fine microchannels in the silicone bristles. But its heart is the hand piece, which houses all of the technology. It brings the bristles into high gear at over 40,000 oscillations per minute. The specially-developed toothpaste capsules are simply inserted into the hand piece, and you’re good to go. Just put the mouthpiece into your mouth, press the button on the hand piece, wait 10 seconds without moving the hand at all, and your teeth are cleanly brushed.

With a conventional toothbrush, it should take at least 2 minutes to brush one’s teeth – unless you can manipulate your toothbrush under your own power at 40,000 oscillations per minute.

Conclusion: Whether with muscle power or fully automatic, tooth brushing is a daily must. As we all know, the first impression counts.

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