While we haven’t always had the fancy electrified gizmos of today, our species has been trying to keep our teeth nice and clean for quite a long time. Evidence has been found that as far back as Ancient Egypt people were using primitive tools made from twigs to brush their teeth. Many countries still use twigs from trees with antibacterial properties, such as cinnamon and neem, and they have been found to be just as effective as modern toothbrushes.
The first object closer to an actual toothbrush was invented by the Chinese. The handle was made of bamboo and it had boar bristles for cleaning teeth. As for toothpaste, it’s been a long journey to the minty fresh chemical concoctions that we slather over our pearly whites today. When pastes for the purpose of tooth cleaning were first being invented, the ingredients were nothing short of nasty. People would use mixtures comprised of ash, burnt eggshells, crushed bones and all manner of gross stuff that you don’t want in your mouth. And you thought brushing your teeth nowadays was a chore!