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The history of the toothbrush

Maintaining good oral hygiene is something we all think about in our daily lives. Brushing teeth straight after breakfast, flossing to remove stuck food particles, mouthwash for fresh breath – oral care is just so embedded in human culture!

One of the best things about prioritising oral health is that the results speak for themselves. When you brush your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes twice a day, your teeth become whiter, your gums appear healthier, and your breath smells minty for hours.

But when did people start brushing their teeth? What does the future of oral hygiene look like with the littli-L1 electric toothbrush?

Before we delve into the history of oral care and the invention of the toothbrush, remember to send this article to a fellow history fanatic!

Millions of years of teeth cleaning

It might come as a surprise, but humans have recognised the importance of oral care for over a million years. First were the Neanderthals, who used wooden sticks to reach and get rid of leftover food in their mouths after mealtimes.

While this technique wasn’t as sophisticated as the toothbrushes we use today, it paved the way for the next era of toothbrushing: easy to use chewing sticks used by our ancient Egyptian and Babylonian ancestors in 3500 B.C. (a topic we recently posted about on our Instagram).

The next wave of oral health emerged almost 2,000 years later in ancient China. They gathered scented tree twigs, fraying the ends to maintain their oral health and keep their fresh breath. The method was used for a long while until the Tang Dynasty invented a toothbrush around 700. It resembled the manual ones found in household bathrooms today – albeit using different materials (hog hair bristles and animal bone or bamboo handles!).

From east to west: emerging toothbrush trends

In the late 1780s, Europe started noticing the value of good oral health. The first toothbrush in England was created by William Addis while imprisoned for causing a riot. When released from prison, William turned his toothbrush invention into the British brand we all recognise today: Wisdom.

Toothbrushes kept using boar hair until DuPont introduced nylon bristles in 1938. The company has helped trailblaze the oral care industry ever since, with the easy to use littli-L1 electric toothbrush also featuring DuPont bristles!

The past and future of electric toothbrushes

The first electric toothbrush was launched in 1954 by a doctor in Switzerland. Its original intentions were to help patients with reduced mobility, but consumers soon realised how easy to use an electric toothbrush was and couldn’t help but want one, too! Electric toothbrushes continue to dominate the world of oral hygiene today, with two-thirds of British adults using them.

The littli team is excited to pave the way to the next era of toothbrushing. We offer consumers a portable, small yet powerful solution making oral care simpler than ever: the littli-L1 electric toothbrush.

Bring a littli extra adventure wherever you go, from visiting ancient Egyptian and Babylonian settlements to touring the DuPont bristles factory. The littli-L1 electric toothbrush weighs just 50g and is only 18cm long (the perfect addition to even the most filled-to-the-brim backpacks, suitcases, and cosmetics bags).

Thanks for reading our latest article on the history of the toothbrush. We hope you learned something new – and are ready to answer any question on the topic at your next pub quiz! Let us know your thoughts via the comments section below or on Instagram – and don’t forget to share this article with someone else passionate about oral hygiene.

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