Even ancient populations understood the importance of oral hygiene. And while their methods and practices were rudimentary compared to those of today, many ancient cultures would go as far as to chew on tree bark or wooden sticks with frayed ends to clean their teeth. The Ancient Egyptians even brushed their teeth using a powdery substance made from pulverized eggshells and oxen hooves. Using these ingredients in powder form, and mixing with water, was slightly abrasive and may have been an effective means of removing remnants left by food.
Here’s another lesser-known fact: The modern toothbrush was not developed until the 1700s. A man from England named William Addis attached boars’ bristles to a bone handle, creating a toothbrush that was actually mass-produced. Brushes with nylon bristles and ergonomic handles were developed in the 1930s.