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The History of a Toothbrush Marietta, GA

The History of a Toothbrush

Toothbrush with Toothpaste Being Applied

As far back as we can go in history, humans have had teeth. We also know that teeth need to be cleaned if you want to keep them. Failing to brush or clean your teeth on a daily basis can result in cavities, gum disease and other dental problems. However, the toothbrushes and toothpaste we know today have not always been around. Still, people found ways to keep their pearly whites clean. Here’s a brief but interesting look into the history of a toothbrush:

The Chew Stick

Centuries ago, people turned to nature to find tools to clean their teeth. The chew stick is a primary example. These are simply twigs with one end frayed by chewing. Chew sticks are then used to brush away plaque and food debris just like our modern day toothbrush. The Ancient Egyptians are known for using chew sticks for their oral hygiene and certain African countries still use this method today.


Putting charcoal powder on your teeth to clean them may seem counterintuitive. The truth is, however, charcoal can be an effective way to rid the teeth of bacteria, plaque and stains. British merchants were said to have performed their dental hygiene with charcoal and a rag. Charcoal served as their form of toothpaste.

The First Toothbrush

During the Middle Ages, the first resemblance of a toothbrush began to emerge. Boar hair or horse hair was used as bristles and attached to a stick to act like a toothbrush. However, the official invention of the first modern toothbrush can be attributed to a British man named William Addis. He designed a toothbrush using animal bone and drilled holes for bristles while he was serving time in prison!

The use of nylon for bristles occurred in 1937. From there, the modern day toothbrush was mass produced and continued to evolve to designs we see in the stores today. In fact, consumers now have a wide variety of toothbrush options, ranging from soft and hard bristled types to more advanced power-operated designs.

Choosing a Toothbrush for You

At Gilreath Dental Associates, we always help patients choose the best toothbrush design for their unique clinical needs. For instance, someone with sensitive or receding gums may need a soft-bristled brush while another patient may benefit from an electric toothbrush due to poor dexterity or limited coordination. Regardless of which modern toothbrush design you choose, it doesn’t change the fact that your teeth need to be brushed twice a day for two minutes each session. Contact our Marietta office today to learn more!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Family Dentistry

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Our Client Reviews
Gilreath Family Dentistry

5.0 / 5.0

Based on 307 reviews


Dr. Gilreath is incredible with my kids. They love going to the dentist now! And this busy mom loves the warm neck wraps, the soft music and enjoying a latte while I relax!

Kenneth H.

Was lucky enough to find these guys when I got insurance that my old dentist did not take. Very professional and friendly staff! Office has the latest greatest technology as well. If you're looking for a new dentist, search no further!

Susie L.

Very personable and friendly, they took the time to go over my complex dental history and did not pressure me into anything. They gave their recommendations and priced out any options I had. Great group!

Camille Y.

Dr. Gilreath and his staff are top notch. I received the best cleaning I've ever had while watching my favorite show. The Doctor and his staff were all very polite, friendly, and courteous. They explained everything to me clearly and presented me with options in a gentle way that didn't make me feel pressured at all. It's obvious they really care about the wellbeing of their patients. The facility and equipment is really nice as well. I will definitely be back!

Juan R.

Always willing to work around my kids and my schedules. Today I had a long appointment. They started on time and always made sure I was comfortable and that the pain was managed so the procedure could’ve been completed without issues. Very courteous and professional staff.

Lucia B.

Awesome dental practice! The staff is friendly and efficient. Dr. Gilreath is thorough and versed in the latest technology and procedures. I love that he can make crowns in the office while you wait (so no walking around with a temporary crown for days or weeks). I would strongly recommend this dental practice!

Matthew W.

I've been going here for about a little over a year now. I've had a few cleanings, a filling, and started Invisiline so far. Hands down, the best run dental office I've ever been to. In the past at other dental offices I often had to wait 30 or more minutes beyond my appointment time before being seen. At Dr. Gilreath's office I've been seen on time every time. They seem to have systems in place to make every part of your visit run smoothly. From how they took x-rays, to billing and appointments, to the work done by the hygienist/dentist, everything seems to run like a well oiled machine. On top of that all the staff are all friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The office space itself is also quite nice. Very clean, well maintained, and seems very "up to date" with their equipment. If you're looking for a dentist and are anywhere in the northwest metro area I would highly recommend Dr. Gilreath.

Jhion R.

The staff is always so courteous and personable. They make us feel like family every time we have an appointment. Service is excellent, too. My wife recently went for a cleaning and Dr. Gilreath noticed a chip in one of her fillings. He knew we recently had another baby and that her time was very limited so he went ahead and did the filling right then and there, an extra thirty minutes tops. Dr. Gilreath is always looking at the big picture and really knows his stuff. We will never go anywhere else

Our Office

Gilreath Family Dentistry

200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060

Call to Schedule an Appointment:
(770) 796-7081

Gilreath Family Dentistry waiting room Marietta GA.