Pearly Whites

Even if the kids don’t brush quite right, they sure are fun to watch.  :)))))))

For those of you with young kids, or those with grandkids, you’ll agree each of them have a very specialized bedtime routine.  Specific times to “start the routine”, certain pjs to wear, games to play, books to read, prayers to recite and of course teeth to brush.  If your family is anything like mine, the little ones are not all that great when it comes to tooth care – a little paste, water, and quick pass on the enamel, with a rinse and spit. Often times I think the spitting is their favorite part! Looking in the medicine cabinet at all the tubes and brushes, I got to thinking about all those tooth brushes out there and the history behind it.  Come to find out, today marks the anniversary date of when the DuPont company introduced the nylon fiber used in toothbrushes way back in 1938. (be sure to check out the production video below).  So, I did some KHT digging and found out some fun stuff about toothbrushes. Now when you tuck the little ones in, you can share some of your toothy knowledge.  Enjoy, and thanks to Wikipedia and YouTube for the info.

Production Video

  • toothbrush is an oral hygiene tool used to clean the teeth, gums, and tongue. It consists of a head of tightly clustered bristles, atop of which toothpaste can be applied, mounted on a handle which facilitates the cleaning of hard-to-reach areas of the mouth.
  • The predecessor of the toothbrush is the chew stick. Chew sticks were twigs with frayed ends used to brush the teeth while the other end was used as a toothpick. The earliest chew sticks were discovered in Sumer in southern Mesopotamia in 3500 BC, an Egyptian tomb dating from 3000 BC, and mentioned in Chinese records dating from 1600 BC.
  • The first bristle toothbrush resembling the modern one was found in China. Used during the Tang Dynasty (619–907), it consisted of hog bristles sourced from hogs living in Siberia and northern China because the colder temperatures provided firmer bristles. They were attached to a handle manufactured from bamboo or bone, forming a toothbrush.
  • The earliest identified use of the word toothbrush in English was in the autobiography of Anthony Wood who wrote in 1690 that he had bought a toothbrush from J. Barret. Europeans found the hog bristle toothbrushes imported from China too firm and preferred softer bristle toothbrushes made from horsehair. Mass-produced toothbrushes made with horse or boar bristle continued to be imported to Britain from China until the mid 20th century.
  • In the UK, William Addis is believed to have produced the first mass-produced toothbrush in 1780. In 1770, he had been jailed for causing a riot. While in prison he decided that using a rag with soot and salt on the teeth was ineffective and could be improved. After saving a small bone from a meal, he drilled small holes into the bone and tied into the bone tufts of bristles that he had obtained from one of the guards, passed the tufts of bristle through the holes in the bone and sealed the holes with glue.
  • After his release, he became wealthy after starting a business manufacturing toothbrushes. He died in 1808, bequeathing the business to his eldest son. It remained within family ownership until 1996 under the name Wisdom Toothbrushes. The company now manufactures 70 million toothbrushes per year in the UK.
  • The first patent for a toothbrush was granted to H.N. Wadsworth in 1857 (U.S.A. Patent No. 18,653) in the United States, but mass production did not start until 1885. The improved design had a bone handle with holes bored into it for the Siberian boar hair bristles. Unfortunately, animal bristle was not an ideal material as it retained bacteria, did not dry efficiently and the bristles often fell out. In addition to bone, handles were made of wood or ivory
  • During the 1900s, celluloid gradually replaced bone handles. Natural animal bristles were also replaced by synthetic fibers, usually nylon, by DuPont in 1938. The first nylon bristle toothbrush made with nylon yarn went on sale on February 24, 1938. In the US, brushing teeth did not become routine until after World War II, when American soldiers had to clean their teeth daily.
  • The first electric toothbrush, the Broxodent, was invented in Switzerland in 1954.
  • Johnson & Johnson introduced the “Reach” toothbrush in 1977. It differed from previous toothbrushes in three ways: it had an angled head, similar to dental instruments, to reach back teeth; the bristles were concentrated more closely than usual to clean each tooth of potentially cariogenic (cavity-causing) materials; and the outer bristles were longer and softer than the inner bristles. Other manufacturers soon followed with other designs aimed at improving effectiveness.
  • Inventors of course came up with other ideas – six sided toothbrush, retractable toothbrushes and a musical toothbrush – a type of manual or powered toothbrush designed to make tooth brushing habit more interesting. The music starts while child starts brushing, it continuously plays during the brushing and it ends when the child stops brushing.
  • About 4.7 billion toothbrushes are produced each year, with about 1 billion ending up as waste.

World’s largest toothbrush

World’s smallest toothbrush



Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!


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