At that time they made toothbrushes out of twigs, and would re-configure the ends to make “bristles”. Even late Egyptian tombs have been said to contain “toothpicks” among the buried.
Apparently, King Tut would have liked a Brushee =)
However, it was, in fact, the Chinese who have taken credit for the first toothbrush made with real bristles in the 1400’s. They were said to have utilized bamboo for handles, and pig necks for the bristles (Wow). And from this creation came the adoption of horsehairs used as bristles in Europe.
But soon came along good ol’ William Addis in 1770, who has been credited for being the first to invent and mass produce the “modern-aged” toothbrush design. While in prison Addis, came up with the idea to poke holes in a small bone he found in his lunch plate, to which he glued in swine bristles. This was an immediate hit among the prison population, and upon his release, he started a business manufacturing toothbrushes. A business that is still alive today under the name Wisdom Toothbrushes.
Nowadays toothbrushes come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, colors, and animations. You name it, I’m sure you can find it on a toothbrush. But the beauty of it is, not much has changed since the original concept created by the ancient Egyptians. Although the materials utilized have come along from pig necks to high-quality nylon bristles, the concept of a handle with bristle like features to clean our teeth, is very much still in place.
So we like to think pioneers like the Ancient Egyptians and William Addis would be quite pleased with our invention of the Brushee being the first toothbrush with a toothpick, floss and toothpaste all in one device!