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Toothbrush: A Dental Care Innovation

Imagine what life would be like without this to brighten our smiles and keep our mouths healthy?

Imagine what life would be like without this to brighten our smiles and keep our mouths healthy?

Arguably, no dental innovation has had a more far-reaching impact than the toothbrush. The toothbrush is an essential tool that is used for the care of our teeth. Have you ever missed brushing your teeth for one day? Have you ever considered what it would be like without the toothbrush? Like many common household items, we give little thought about the origins or the trials and tribulations these products went through to arrive in the form we see in store’s today. The toothbrush is certainly no exception.

The Origins of the Toothbrush

Unlike the majority of other common household items, there is no single person credited as being the sole inventor of the toothbrush. It would seem as though the toothbrush actually evolved over time and mainly out of necessity. Traces of the first toothbrush have been dated back to the Egyptians and Babylonians, making the toothbrush one of the oldest devices still used by man. This particular version was nothing more than a stick, upon which the individual would chew until the fibers of the wood formed a brush; the sticks were believed to have healing and antiseptic qualities.

The Bristles Make All the Difference

The Chinese are credited with inventing the first bristle toothbrush, similar to the type used today. They took the hairs of Siberian wild boar and manipulated them onto bamboo sticks, one of the most common plants from that region. The sticks were then used just like a modern manual toothbrush to clean the teeth. The biggest drawback to the boar hairs was the fact that it was extremely rough on the gums. Once this iteration of the toothbrush made its way to Europe, some people began to use hair from the backs of horses, as it was much gentler on the gums.

Bristles Come Full Circle

Animal hair bristles remained in use until 1937, when Wallace Carothers created nylon in the DuPont laboratories. One year later, the first nylon toothbrush — the Miracle-Tuft Toothbrush — was created. After World War II, Americans began to become more concerned about oral hygiene. Brushing teeth regularly became popular in the U.S. after soldiers returned home and brought with them their strict habits of brushing their teeth. This influence prompted the development of more advanced toothbrushes and helped bring oral hygiene into the mainstream.

Over the centuries, the toothbrush has seen many changes in designs and materials used. The brands, styles and colors of toothbrushes are virtually endless. Now the toothbrush is a scientific instrument, which comes in diverse colors, shapes and sizes. It’s a tool with modern ergonomic designs and safe hygienic materials. The toothbrush has stood the test of time, thus earning the title of being the cornerstone of proper oral hygiene.

Common Oral Care Mistakes

Common Oral Care Mistakes

ToothbrushHey, we all make mistakes, don’t we? That’s usually how we learn valuable life lessons. But what about the mistakes you don’t know you’re making? We’ve pulled together a list of common mistakes people make with their mouth—not the foot-in-mouth kind, though. Sorry, we can’t do anything about that.

It’s all about what you eat—and don’t eat. We all know that sweets are bad for us, but come on—how can we possibly avoid that delicious looking treat? It’s probably impossible to entirely avoid sugary foods, so if you have to indulge, try doing so after a meal. This reduces acid producing bacteria in the mouth that wears away enamel. And while we’re on the subject of food—eat your fruits and veggies. They have vitamins and minerals that help strengthen your teeth.

A few more food-related tips:

  • DO: Chew sugar-free gum
  • DON’T: Avoid chewing hard things like ice or popcorn kernels
  • DO: Swish with water after every meal

Dehydration. Foods aren’t the only thing that can give your teeth a hard time. Make sure you avoid drinking high-acid or sugary liquids, and instead drink plenty of water. Your body isn’t the only thing that needs water—your teeth do, too. Drink water after a meal to clean the mouth and wash away bacteria.

Bad brushing habits. Bad habits are hard to break, but it’s worth the extra effort to break these habits.

  • Brushing too soon. Wait at least 30 minutes after eating to brush – food acids weaken enamel. Brushing immediately after eating doesn’t allow the enamel enough time to harden back up.
  • Brushing too hard or too often. This can expose and irritate the roots of your teeth and cause dental problems and tooth sensitivity. We recommend using soft bristle toothbrushes only, to help avoid scraping the enamel off of your teeth.
  • Not brushing long enough. Ok, so maybe this sounds like the opposite of what we just said, but quality and quantity go hand in hand here. We all hurry from one thing to the next in life, especially getting ready for work in the morning, but this is one area of your life you really don’t want to rush. Using a soft-bristle toothbrush, be sure to brush thoroughly for at least 2 minutes.
  • Boring brushing. Spice up that brushing experience and don’t make every brushing session the same. Start in different places of the mouth to provide a more balanced teeth cleaning. 
  • And one more thing: don’t ignore the Pink. Your tongue doesn’t just get this party started—it’s also a nice warm bed for bacteria growth. Make sure your tongue is getting its fair share of attention during routine brushing.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention floss. Do it. Every day. Now don’t get all carried away and be aggressive about it, either. Be gentle, but diligent.

And last, the thing you’ve been avoiding—DON’T put off that dental cleaning. Neglecting to have your teeth taken care of by a dentist is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to oral health. So get busy, and schedule that cleaning.

By Shelley Sigur | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment
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