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Since ancient times we had problems with crooked teeth. They interfered with proper eating and were not too aesthetically pleasing. Because of that, we tried to invent mechanical aids that helped us to fix them. Read about history of orthodontics.
History of dentistry is long and ... well - painful. But since the people began using natural ingredients to treat illnesses, they used it for teeth problems also. And slowly but surely, we became more adept in treating tooth decay and other oral problems.
Dental floss has a history that his maybe longer than of the toothbrush but we know for sure that it is in use since the 19th century. It is in the wider use since the invention of synthetic materials like nylon.
Dental instruments progressed for nearly 9000 years and from very primitive tools they developed into sophisticated equipment that can still seam scary but not so much when you compare them with tools people fixed their teeth some 100 years ago.