In ancient Egypt, oral health was a big deal, especially to the royals who had all things luxurious at their disposal. The first ever mention of toothbrushes was around 3000BC when ancient Egyptians used frayed twigs to clean their teeth.
Oral hygiene rituals consisted of powdered ashes of ox hooves, myrrh, powdered and burnt eggshells and pumice. They later used powdered anise as a breath freshener.
Research has shown that in ancient Sudan, the purple nutsedge weed tuber was used for oral health. According to scientists, this plant had anti-bacterial tendencies. It cleaned their teeth and kept their gums fresh and healthy. Some parboiled this tuber before using it due to its bitter taste.
For men of the Dinka ethnic group, they keep their teeth clean with sticks. Many Africans till date use chewing sticks to maintain oral health.