For many reasons we have big advantages over people before us, not the least is our dental care! From the looks of some of these toothbrushes, cleaning your own teeth could be a painful experience. Here’s a run-down on these older versions of toothbrushes.
From left to right:
The siwak stick or “chew stick”—a twig with frayed ends—has been used since Babylonian times, particularly among Muslim and African cultures.
Taub’s patent toothbrush had a convex, semicircular design made to conform to the tongue side of the teeth. This early 20th-century design was made out of celluloid.
A rubber-tipped combination gum stimulator and toothbrush with an aluminum handle, pre-1945.
The Strockway rotary toothbrush was designed with long and short bristle tufts to enable them to go over and in between the teeth as the toothbrush was rolled along the teeth. Circa 1950s.
Dr. Mayland’s toothbrush with rubber points instead of bristles, circa 1920s. The Rotor toothbrush was designed to clean the teeth vertically, circa 1930s.
Then as now, the real point is to brush your teeth twice a day, every day. Using one of our modern toothbrushes makes it easy and painless!