Cosmetics don't just help us to care for our skin and hair, they can help us to keep our teeth in top condition too. Toothbrushes have been around for 5,000 years although they looked very different from those we are used to using with our toothpaste now! In 3,000 BC people would chew on sticks to clean their teeth, and some people still do today in certain parts of the world, especially where water is scarce.
In the 16th century the first bristle toothbrushes appeared in China, made of wood or bone with hog-hair bristles. The idea was imported into Europe by traders, though generally only the richer classes would have bothered to clean their teeth.
Probably the most important oralcare development was the discovery, during the 19th century, that fluoride can help to keep teeth healthy.
Thankfully today there are a myriad of products to keep our teeth clean, shiny and white. In this section you can read about how toothpaste, mouthwash and toothwhiteners work and also the major oral health problems that oralcare products can help to prevent.