Brief Intro to Modern day Tooth Brush

4 min

Modern day Toothbrush

Toothbrushes serve as a tool in the maintenance of oral hygiene. It consists of a head of tightly clustered bristles on a handle.

History of Tooth Brushes:

In the ancient time’s humans used very unique objects as toothbrushes some of those are as follows:

  • Tree twigs
  • Bird feathers
  • Animal bones
  • Porcupine quills.

The predecessor of the toothbrush is also called a chew stick used in 3500BC at Mesopotamia (representing combined modern-day Iraq, eastern Syria, and Kuwait.)

The first bristle toothbrush resembling the modern toothbrush was found in China during 619-907 AD. It was made of hog bristles attached to a handle made of bone or bamboo.

In the year 1223 AD, the Japanese used horsehair attached to ox bone as toothbrushes.

This culture of using toothbrushes spread to the other countries and Europe by the 17th century.

By 20th century China imported brushes made of horse or boar bristles to England.

A European named William Addis was first to mass-produce toothbrushes in the year 1780.

H.N.Wadsworth acquired the first patent for toothbrushes in the year 1857.

In the early part of the 1900s celluloid replaced bone handles of the toothbrushes.

In the year 1938 animal bristles were replaced by synthetic fibers and Nylons which paved way for the modern toothbrushes that are being used today.

As the civilization advanced to more tech electric toothbrushes made their appearance. The first electronic toothbrushes were introduced by Broxodent in 1954.

In 1977 Johnson & Johnson introduced the toothbrushes with angled heads resembling the dental instruments for improved efficiency.


There are principally 4 types of tooth brushes. Let’s see them in detail.

Electric toothbrush: An electric toothbrush performs rotations of its bristles and cleans hard to reach places. The multi-directional power brush might reduce the incidence of gingivitis (gum disease) and plaque (accumulation of white debris around the gums) when compared to regular side-to-side brushing. These brushes tend to be more costly.

Interdental toothbrush: An interdental or interproximal (“proxy”) brush is a small brush, typically disposable, either supplied with a reusable angled plastic handle or an integral handle, used for cleaning between teeth and between the wires of dental braces (used during orthodontic treatment) and the teeth.

Sulca toothbrush: A Sulcabrush is a type of toothbrush used specifically for cleaning along the gumline adjacent to the teeth. It is ideal for cleaning specific difficult-to-reach areas, such as between crowns, bridgework and crowded teeth.

End tuft brush: The small round brush head comprises seven tufts of tightly packed soft nylon bristles, trimmed so the bristles in the center can reach deeper into small spaces.


  • To remove dental plaque (accumulated soft deposits after we have our regular diet) from all the surfaces of the teeth.
  • Cleansing of every tooth surface.

American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that one should change his/her toothbrush every 3 – 4 months. It is not a hard rule you can also change your toothbrush once the bristles wear out/flare.



Improvisation to enhance and ease the use of appliances has led to the idea of using artificial intelligence in electric toothbrushes.

These toothbrushes are added to the list of smart gadgets that operate via mobile applications.

These inventions using AI were brought to light recently by the two famous dental brands Colgate & Oral-B. They can be paired to your Smartphone through Bluetooth.

Colgate Plaqless Pro Smart Electric Toothbrush: It has a sleek design with a tiny sensor attached to the tip to determine the plaque build-up before you brush your teeth.

This gives a detailed status of your mouth which is viewed in your mobile through the Colgate Connect App.

Information is brief for each region of your mouth. Results can be viewed after brushing.

Personalized oral care tips are suggested after brushing. It will reach the stores at the end of 2020.

Oral-B iO: The ‘iO’ refers to the oscillating & rotating movements with micro-vibrations for an enhanced deep clean.

The Oral-BiO app is connected to the mobile application. They present with a bimodal pressure sensor to indicate the regions that need more pressure to remove the plaque.

They have the following different cleaning modes:

  • Daily clean.
  • Gum care.
  • Sensitive.
  • Whiten.
  • Pro clean.
  • Tongue cleaner.

They are targeted to increase the user’s experience to feel, hear and transform the act of brushing.

It is planned for sales around the middle of 2020.


This brand has taken whole different hypotheses to tooth brushing by changing the design of the brush.

Y – Brushes are available in the form of a tray with an angulated bristle arrangement with a handle on which there is a button to power on the device.

The in-depth cleaning is provided by adapting to the Bass method of tooth brushing. The bristle is arranged parallel on both sides leaving space in between for the teeth and angulated in 450.

How to use Y BRUSH?

Using the toothpaste applicator provided it is applied on the brush then inserted in the upper jaw and powered on.

It takes a vibratory motion around all the surfaces of the upper teeth and comes to rest after 10 seconds.

Then it is removed washed and flipped onto the lower jaw for the next cycle of 10 seconds.

It comes with 3 vibration modes to adjust for sensitivity. It is available in 2 brush sizes one for children and others for adults. It can be charged with the separate chargeable port available.

It is under evaluation. During the past clinical studies, it is reported to remove 15% more plaque compared to the traditional toothbrushes.

It helps in overcoming the difficulty faced by the challenged population due to their inability to maintain oral hygiene. It is reported to be effective in removing bacteria associated with gingivitis, periodontitis and gum disease.

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Dr Arun

Dr. Arun is a practicing dentist with more than 11 years of experience. Loves to blog and in constant search of new knowledge in dentistry and health niche.


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