The first bristle toothbrush, resembling the modern toothbrush, was found in China during the Tang Dynasty (619–907) and used hog bristle.[4][9] The bristles were sourced from hogs living in Siberia and northern China because the colder temperatures provided firmer bristles. They were then attached to a handle manufactured from bamboo or bone, forming a toothbrush.[3] In 1223, Japanese Zen master Dōgen Kigen recorded on Shōbōgenzō that he saw monks in China clean their teeth with brushes made of horse-tail hairs attached to an ox-bone handle. The bristle toothbrush spread to Europe, brought back from China to Europe by travellers.[10] It was adopted in Europe during the 17th century.[5] The earliest identified use of the word toothbrush in English was in the autobiography of Anthony Wood, who wrote in 1690 that he had bought a toothbrush from J. Barret.[11] Europeans found the hog bristle toothbrushes exported from merchants in China too firm, and preferred softer bristle toothbrushes manufactured from horsehair.[3] Mass-produced toothbrushes, made with horse or boar bristle, continued to be imported to England from China until the mid-20th century.[6]

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