Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry

Where did the toothbrush come from? How often should I be changing my toothbrush?

By Dr. Brett Silverman | Mar 18, 2020 | General Oral Care
Where did the toothbrush come from? How often should I be changing my toothbrush?

You use it 2-3 times per day. You replace it (hopefully) once every 6 months. Know what it is?

It’s your toothbrush!

You use it on a daily basis, but have you ever wondered where the toothbrush came from?

No, we’re not referring to the fact that your toothbrush came from a manufacturing facility. But actually where and when was the toothbrush first ever used? When was the toothbrush invented?

Keep reading to find out the answers, plus learn some basic toothbrush information (how often to replace your toothbrush, etc).

When was the toothbrush invented? Who invented the first toothbrush?

The modern manual toothbrush as we know it today was invented in 1938 when the DuPont company created the first toothbrush with nylon bristles.

However, other forms of the toothbrush have been around since 5000BC. These earlier toothbrushes were made from several types of materials, including boar bristles and other coarse animal hairs attached to bamboo or ivory handles.

Fast forward to 1960 when the first electric toothbrush hit the American market. It was marketed by the Squibb company under the name Broxodent.

And now today we have numerous types of toothbrushes — manual, electric and sonic. Today’s toothbrushes come with advantages, disadvantages and care techniques/tips as we’ll explore next.

How often should you replace your toothbrush?

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head once every 3 to 4 months, or if the brush bristles become frayed before that time period.

If you tend to have a heavy hand when brushing (even though brushing too hard is bad for your gums), you’ll probably find yourself changing your toothbrush sooner than the typical 3 to 4 months.

If you continue brushing your teeth with frayed bristles, you won’t be removing all of the bacteria and plaque. So you’ll be left with dirty teeth and gums susceptible to cavities and other dental problems.

Should you throw away your old toothbrush after you’re sick?

If you are sick or if you have a cold sore you should throw away your toothbrush after you’re feeling better. It’s best to get rid of those germs and start using a fresh, new toothbrush after your sickness or when your cold sore completely heals.

How to take care of your toothbrush according to the ADA

  • Never share your toothbrush with someone else.

  • Be sure to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after brushing to remove all debris and toothpaste.

  • Do not store your toothbrush in a closed container as this will harbor bacteria growth. Instead, store your toothbrush upright and allow the brush to air dry.

As always, if you haven’t been to the dentist in a while for a teeth cleaning appointment, and you live in the Alpharetta, GA area, call Dr. Brett Silverman at Advanced Cosmetic and Family Dentistry.