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Toothbrush with horn handle, England, 1870-1900

Since 1800, the toothbrush has been the most popular way to clean teeth. Made from horn and nickel-plated brass, the head of this toothbrush is made from felt. Felt headed toothbrushes were advertised as softer toothbrushes than those made with animal bristles. Modern toothbrush heads are made from nylon.

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Glossary: hygiene

The science of health and how to maintain it. A condition or practice which promotes good health. The definition varies widely and differs across cultures.

Glossary: toothbrush

Small brushes, with long handles, for cleaning the teeth. A variety of oral hygiene measures have been used since before recorded history. This has been verified by various excavations done all over the world, in which tree twigs, bird feathers, animal bones and porcupine quills that had been used to clean or brush ones teeth were recovered.

Glossary: dentistry

The study, treatment and management of diseases affecting the mouth, jaws, gums, teeth and their supporting tissues.