We’ve all been told since we were kids to brush our this every day: as soon as when we gain up in the morning and once prior to bed in ~ night. The method of exactly how we brush our teeth, the kind of brush that exists, and how numerous times it’s agree to execute so actually has a long, storied background dating earlier thousands the years.

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Today, we recognize that brushing our teeth is necessary to every little thing in oral health, from general orthodontic dental treatment to learning exactly how to clean Invisalign trays. Figuring out exactly how many times a day we should do it needs a look in ~ the whole history of how (and how often) humans have actually brushed their teeth.

Let’s start at the beginning, i m sorry in this instance means: prior to toothbrushes even existed at all.

The Beginning

Humans have a long history of brushing our teeth and an also longer history of no doing it in ~ all. For thousands of years, ours ancestors had no ide of dentist care. You might think that they suffered as a result, but there’s actually no evidence to indicate that human being from those at an early stage eras had any dental health problems at all. Why is that?

It really comes down to diet. Ours ancestors had actually no GMO-filled quick foods, no small goods, and no processed products of any type of kind. The foodstuffs they ate didn’t contain harmful additive or chemicals and also were completely all-natural. Every little thing they uncovered is what they ate.

This expected that they weren’t deficient in the vitamins and minerals the promote oral wellness like calcium and phosphorus. Lock all gained their day-to-day allowances that fruits and vegetables. The tough, fibrous foods items they ate also got your mouths moving, scraping their teeth on accident and preventing plaque buildup that leads come tooth degeneration in the modern-day mouth.


Eventually, though, people started brushing their teeth. How did it every start?

As early on as the 3000s B.C., the Egyptians were making pen by choose apart the ends of twigs and also “brushing” with those, occasionally splaying the end so the they could reach in between teeth (sort that a primitive ancestor come the ide of flossing).

This was, of course, more like glorified flossing than actual brushing. It removed huge pieces the food but still didn’t deal with our plaque and also breath problems.

It wasn’t till the ancient Chinese acquired the idea that toothbrushing should include a brush the we started on the trip to contemporary oral hygiene. In the 15th century, pig hair bristles started being fastened to bone handles and used to clean teeth.

When Europe to buy the idea v trade, lock started transforming it up, trying the end horsehairs and even feather as different ways to achieve the same basic idea. No one of this was terribly efficient, however.

The an initial Toothbrush

Despite the new of these old inventions gift passed approximately Asia and Europe with trade, toothbrushing still wasn’t taught in schools or supplied on a daily basis by normal civilization until the 1700s.

This was as soon as a British male named wilhelm Addis come up v the idea in 1770, after being imprisoned for starting a riot. He realized the the conventional an approach of dental care of the time (people crushed soot or brick material and rubbed it over their teeth through a cloth) sorely required an upgrade.

In his cell, he drilled small holes right into a leftover animal bone and also tied bristles into the holes till he could glue it together and call that a brush.

When he acquired out the jail, he began a agency that manufactured and sold his “toothbrushes.” His invention caught on and also ended increase in numerous households. We still use his style today.

Brushing your this today

For a long time, brushing your teeth as soon as a day was thought about perfectly sufficient. However, as more and much more foods contain sugars and processed chemical materials, the American dentist Association has increased the referral to twice a day because that optimum dentist health.

In fact, currently they say, “at the very least twice a day,” come cover every the bases.

Changes in our food aren’t the only reason because that the increase. Dentists and also orthodontic health professionals uncovered a while earlier that when people brush their teeth, they often don’t do it for long enough or with the right technique. Recommending the we perform it at the very least twice a job (some suggest once ~ every enjoy the meal instead) is a way of enhancing the possibilities that we’ll carry out it right.

Using the ago of the brush come massage the gums, transforming the brush over to get at the earlier of teeth, and also brushing for at the very least two minutes each time are simply a few of the common bits of advice given by dentists to obtain the finest brush possible.

Though we won’t get in the whole background of flossing, it’s part of the exact same deal. Dentists introduce doing that once a day as well to encourage gum health and prevent a buildup that nasty bacteria in in between your teeth. At least it beats making use of a twig!

The Takeaway

Toothbrushing has actually a weird history. Due to the fact that our ancestors didn’t have to do it, for assorted reasons, yes sir no ingrained conventional for what that is and also how we’re claimed to get it done.

From the crude creations of the early Egyptians to one English rioter’s logical take on the outdated methods in his country, the modern toothbrush walk through plenty of variations before ending up being what that is today.

With the rise of sugar-dense foods and also the enhancing lack of straightforward mineral nutrition in the modern diet, that no wonder the dentists and also orthodontists space recommending that world brush their teeth for at least 2 minute at a time and at least twice a day.

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It might seem choose an inconvenience, yet unless you plan on living in a cave and foraging because that food as the ancients did, a modern-day diet means the contemporary necessity of to brush your this every day. Conserving yourself from tooth decay and also preserving your healthy smile is its very own reward, after all.