How did you brush your teeth in the past?

Many people probably wonder how they brushed their teeth before toothbrushes and toothpaste existed. In fact, long before, even long before the beginning of time.

3000 BC, the Sumerians used toothpicks. In 500-200 BC, several other cultures, including China, India, Africa and Arabic culture, used toothbrushes. Branches whose fibres were separated from each other to form a form of brush. The substance that these branches secreted had a beneficial effect on the gums.

However, Europe and the West were not as diligent about this and it took a very long time to realise the link between food and oral hygiene/dental pain, and for a long time it was thought that the problem was dental worms. Various home remedies were used which were thought to cure the toothache. People rinsed their mouths with alum, salt, honey, mint, mouse poo, eggshells, fish bones and urine. They tried to smoke out the pain with herbs, tried to transfer the pain from a nail to a tree and as a last resort pulled out the "sick" teeth.

In the 17th century, toothbrushes existed, but they were very rare and only a few people owned them as they were considered exclusive and expensive and were made of ivory and silver.

It was not until the 1940s that the toothbrush became a tool for the common man when cheaper plastic toothbrushes, similar to today's toothbrushes, began to be produced. And it was around this time that people really understood what tooth decay was and how it came about, as they also conducted the greatest experiments of all time, more or less feeding the "mentally ill" with sugar in abundance. These patients were incarcerated and had little choice. A very unethical approach that has been widely written about. But also the reason we now understand what carbohydrates/sugar does to our teeth.

So in summary, mankind has always taken care of its teeth in one way or another, but the history of the toothbrush is quite short in our part of the world. Which may seem odd since thousands of years earlier people understood that teeth need to be treated.