BDA museum temporary exhibition shows history of toothbrush

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A new temporary exhibition at the BDA museum has everything you need to know about the history of the toothbrush.

The exhibition is a crucial part of a research project at the University of Kent, called ‘Oral health inequalities, oral health cultures 1870-1970’.

On display are a number of key pieces that were hugely significant in the development of the toothbrushes we use today, like Bartholomew Ruspini’s toothbrush, one of many that he sold to his patients in the 1780’s. There are also early celluloid toothbrushes – colourful, cheap brushes that were the first to be made from plastic.

Other items include a Wedgewood jug, bowl and toothbrush set, giving a look into how the middle class were beginning to use the toothbrush as part of their daily routine.

A BDA panel made of leading experts were on hand to launch ‘The Toothbrush: Past, Present and Future’ exhibition. As part of the debate, panellists answers questions on the toothbrush, its role in improving oral health and what the future might hold.

The British Dental Association Museum holds one of the largest collections of dental heritage in the UK, from the 17th century to modern day. Items in the collection include dental chairs, oral hygiene products and drills.

It will be running until the 17th December and is free to look around.

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