Is toothbrushing a response to the change in diet agriculture brought? The life and health of the mouth when brushing with modern diet vs without brushing with a more ‘evolutionary diet’? All information is appreciated. Thanks.
No, I think it’s a response to the realisation that dental hygiene is important (which happened at around the same time as the realisation that general hygiene is important), and consequently the need for your adult teeth to last 60-70 years instead of 20-30.
I think toothbrushing is a reesponse to cruddy deposits on the teeth, without any reference to longer-term benefits. Anthropologists have long held that primitive man used the end of a stick crushed with a rock (a siwak or m’swaki stick) to rub coatings off the teeth. Sounds plausible to me. I frequwently clean the surface of my teeth with a fingernail or something if they start to develop a coating during the day, and I’m far from my toothbrush.
Edited to add – Wikipedia has a specific plant used for the miswak, but as I first heard the term used it was for any generic crushed branch: