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The Evolution of Oral Care

Oral care has come a long way from rudimentary methods of using twigs to the modern wide range of oral care products. Here’s the journey.

Around 60-80% of Indian kids have gaps in their teeth, misaligned jaws, or major dental problems. Over 85% of Indians suffer from oral health problems. This can be directly attributed to why India is considered the capital of oral cancer.

Today, if you want to be at the pinnacle of oral care, you need to have many products you can use: toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss. This was not always the case. Let’s take a closer look at the evolution of oral care and how it has improved over the years.

Historical methods of oral care

Before the toothbrush’s invention, people used various methods to clean their teeth. For example, the ancient Egyptians used a mixture of powdered ashes and eggshells to clean their teeth. They also used a variety of herbs, spices, and wine to rinse their mouths.

The Greeks and Romans used a mixture of crushed bones and oyster shells. The Chinese used boar bristles tied to a bamboo handle. The Arabs, like us Indians, used the soft tree twig called miswak to clean their teeth.

Over time, people used various mixtures to clean their teeth, including powdered charcoal, ashes, and even urine. And now the products have evolved. Let’s look at the new products we can use for good oral care.


Toothpaste is an essential part of oral care. It helps to remove plaque and tartar, freshen your breath, and prevent tooth decay.

Today’s toothpaste has come a long way in effectiveness and safety. It contains fluoride, a mineral that helps to prevent tooth decay. Additionally, toothpaste is available in different formulations, such as for sensitive teeth, whitening, and tartar control.

A toothpaste contains ingredients, such as abrasives, flavourings, and humectants, which help to make it more effective and pleasant to use.


Mouthwash is another essential part of oral care. It helps to kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Mouthwash has evolved to become more effective and pleasant to use.

Mouthwash today contains antiseptic agents that help kill bacteria and other ingredients, such as fluoride and flavourings, making it more effective and pleasant. Like toothpaste, mouthwash is also available in different formulations, such as for sensitive teeth, whitening, and fresh breath.

The modern toothbrush

The toothbrush was designed in 1938 by an American named Dr Charles C. Bass, using nylon bristles attached to a plastic handle.

The nylon bristles were softer than the boar bristles used in the past and did not scratch the tooth enamel. The plastic handle was also more hygienic than the bamboo and animal bone handles used in the past.


Flossing is an essential part of oral care that helps remove food particles and plaque between teeth. Floss has been around for centuries, but it has evolved to become more effective and convenient to use.

In the past, people used a variety of materials to floss, including silk, horsehair, and even twigs. Today, dental floss is made of nylon or other synthetic materials, which are more effective in removing plaque and debris between teeth.

In addition to traditional floss, several other flossing products are available, including floss picks, interdental brushes, and water flossers. These products have made flossing easier and more convenient.

Electric toothbrushes

In 1954, the first electric toothbrush was invented in Switzerland. It was called the Broxodent and was powered by a cord that had to be plugged into an electrical outlet.

The first cordless electric toothbrush was introduced In 1960. This toothbrush used rechargeable batteries, and it was much more convenient to use than the earlier models.

Electric toothbrushes have become very popular because of their efficiency. They come in various models, from basic ones with simple functions to more advanced models with multiple brushing modes and timers.

Wondering if you can get discounts every time you buy an oral care product? Yes! Just subscribe to any Kenko Health Plan and get up to 50% off on all daily healthcare products, doctor consults, medicines, lab tests and much more.

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