History of the Toothbrush

Have you ever wondered where the toothbrush came from that you have in your bathroom medicine cabinet?  According to the Library of Congress, the toothbrush that we use today was not invented until 1938. However, there are many other early forms of toothbrushes that have been around since 3000 BC. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used what was referred to as a “chew stick” which was a thin stick with a frayed end.  The teeth were “cleaned” by chewing on the frayed end.

Bristle toothbrushes were invented in China in 1498. These brushes were made with hairs taken from the backs of hog’s necks and attached to bone or bamboo handles.

In 1938, Dupont de Nemours introduced the first nylon toothbrush called Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush.  Compared to using a boar bristle toothbrush, this was probably looked on as a miracle! Now we have various toothbrush shapes, sizes, textures and handle styles to choose from.

Toothbrush

Here are some other interesting facts about toothbrushes:

  • The first mass-produced toothbrush was made by William Addis of Clerkenwald, England, around 1780.
  • The first American to patent a toothbrush was H.N. Wadsworth, on November 7, 1857.
  • Mass production of toothbrushes began in America around 1885.
  • One of the first electric toothbrushes to hit the American market was in 1960. It was marketed by the Squibb company under the name of Broxodent.
  • On average, each person in the U.S. purchases three toothbrushes every 2 years although the ADA recommends that toothbrushes be changed every 3 to 4 months.
(courtesy of The Library of Congress)

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss – and a Fork 12

This is the last in our series on food and your teeth.  Our subject today is Wasabi. That may seem like a odd food, but Wasabi, or Japanese horseradish, is a hot ingredient used in relation with Oriental cooking. This spicy condiment is known to safeguard healthy teeth by fighting bacteria that cause cavities and gum abscesses.

Wasabi root also helps reduce Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a bacteria that leads to stomach ulcers, unpleasant burping and bad breath, according to a 2004 study at Juntendo University School of Medicine in Tokyo. 

So the next time you order sushi, don’t forget the Wasabi.  It’s good for your stomach as well as your teeth.

wasabi

April Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Since over 45,000 people will be diagnosed with oral or throat cancer this year, we urge you to see us if you haven’t had a dental exam in a while.  When cancer is detected and treated early, treatment-related health problems can be reduced.

Regular oral cancer examinations can help detect oral cancer in its early stages. Dental visits can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily.

According to the American Dental Association here is a list of signs and symptoms you should be aware of in relation to your oral health, especially if they last more than two weeks:

  • a sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • red or white patches
  • pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
  • a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

If you notice any of these changes, please call our office immediately to set up an appointment.  Don’t ignore any suspicious lumps or sores that last more than two weeks. Prompt examination could make a difference.

March – National Nutrition Month

We know that in order to have proper nutrition, we need to eat a well balanced diet.  If you don’t give your body the nutrients it needs, your health as well as your mouth, may suffer. The first step in the digestion process begins with your mouth, teeth and gums.  Properly chewing your food goes a long way in making sure you get what you need.  A poor diet can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.  High carbs and sugary foods contribute to the production of plaque which will cause cavities.

Here are a few useful tips courtesy of MouthHealthy.org, the ADA’s consumer website:

  • Follow the recommended nutritional guidelines. Your individual nutrition and calorie needs depend on your age, gender, level of physical activity and other health factors. However, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a balanced and healthy diet should include fruits and vegetables; grains, especially whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice and whole wheat bread; low-fat or fat-free dairy foods; and lean protein choices.
  • Stay away from foods that harm your dental health. Empty calorie foods such as candy, sweets and snack foods are a cause for dental concern, not only because they offer no nutritional value, but because the amount and type of sugar that they contain can adhere to teeth. The bacteria in your mouth feed off these sugars, releasing acids, which can lead to tooth decay. In addition, sugar-containing drinks — soda, lemonade, juice and sweetened coffee or tea — are particularly harmful because sipping them causes a constant sugar bath over teeth, which promotes tooth decay.
  • Eat foods that benefit dental health. Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, calcium-fortified tofu, leafy greens and almonds are foods that may benefit tooth health thanks to their high amounts of calcium and other nutrients they provide. Protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs are good sources of phosphorus, which along with calcium, plays a critical role in dental health by protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel. In addition, fruits and vegetables are high in water and fiber, which balance the sugars they contain and help to clean the teeth.

If you have any questions concerning your dental health and the part good nutrition plays, give us a call at Brogdon Dental 423-870-5698. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your dental needs.

Oral Health and Body Health

There is a relationship between our teeth, gum and body. Our body is considered an ecosystem and our mouth is the main entrance to it. What goes through our mouths and into our body determines many of the diseases we contract.

Each tooth is surrounded by gums that create a seal that controls the bacteria that enters our body. If we fail to take care of this seal, and allow it to be weakened, we open the door for all kinds of things to enter our bloodstream causing a myriad of problems.

teethgums

According to OraGuard, Ltd, listed below are of some diseases that we can develop as a result of bacteria entering the body through the mouth and gums:

 

  • IBS
    Oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and attack the friendly bacteria in your gut. And that’s when your digestive issues begin to worsen.
  • Breast cancer
    Women may be 11 times more likely to develop breast cancer due to lack of good oral care.
  • Prostate cancer
    Research has shown that men with indicators of periodontal disease and prostatitis have higher levels of PSA than men with only one of these conditions.
  • Diabetes
    Serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.
  • Weight gain
    Oral health, diabetes, and obesity are intertwined and inflammation is at the core of  this complex interaction
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia
    Research shows gum disease bacteria lipopolysaccharides (the surface of the bacterium) in samples from people suffering from dementia and none of the people who do not have the condition.
  • Cardiovascular disease including stroke, heart attack, infective endocarditis, and thickening of the arteries
    When bacteria reach the heart, they can attach themselves to any damaged area and cause inflammation.
  • Low birthweight and premature birth
    Periodontal health also plays a key role in a healthy pregnancy. Research suggests that pregnant women with gum disease are at higher risk for pre-term and low birth weight deliveries.
  • Bacterial pneumonia
    Bacterial infections in the chest are believed to be caused by breathing droplets from the mouth and throat into the lungs.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
    Those who had moderate to severe periodontitis had more than twice the risk of RA compared to those with mild or no periodontitis

We don’t realize how important our oral health is in relation to a healthy body, but we need to think about not only what we put in our mouths, but how we take care of our mouths, which includes our teeth and gums. Good oral health is not only brushing your teeth and visiting your dentist, but don’t forgot to do this as well.

Contact our office at Brogdon Dental to set up your cleaning today.

 

 

February – National Heart Month

We know that February is National Heart Month, but what you may ask, does that have to do with your teeth?  Heart disease claims over 610,000 lives each year, and is the  No. 1 killer of both men and women in the U.S. But did you know that a link has been found between this deadly disease and the health of your gums?

According to a 2016 study by the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden, having gum disease can increase the risk of a first heart by 28%.

“Although the findings indicate a strong link between gum disease and heart disease, it’s still unclear whether one actually causes the other,” says the American Heart Association. The two conditions have some of the same risk factors, including smoking, poor nutrition and diabetes. Researchers believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the connection.

Practicing health habits can help lower your risks of both gum and heart disease.

Daily good habits such as:

  • Brushing and flossing daily to remove plaque.
  • Following healthy dietary habits by reducing sugars and starches.
  • Avoiding chewing tobacco and cigarette smoking that can destroy your gums and cause heart disease.

By just implementing a few good habits you can help your gums and teeth and also, by design, your heart.  Give us a call here at Brogdon Dental and let us give your gums an exam and see how you rate.

Is Sugar Scary? It can be…

Halloween is here and that means your kids will probably be eating a lot of sweets, especially candy. So how can you keep their teeth from suffering after too much sugar?

One way is pretty simple. Brush often. Everyone knows that brushing your teeth can help you prevent cavities, but it can also help if you have eaten too much sugar. You also need to change your toothbrush out often. According to colgate.com, Toothbrushes with triple-action bristles and diamond-shaped heads are designed to be better at cleaning hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.  And those hard-to-reach places are where your sugars will reside.

Use mouthwash, especially those that contain fluoride. If you don’t have mouthwash, swishing your mouth out with plain water will help.

Chewing sugar-free gum after eating sweets helps by creating saliva which will remove sugar that coats your teeth. The key is to prevent the mouth from remaining coated in the acid-forming sugars and other carbohydrates found in sweets after eating.

Use these tips to help your kids (and yourself) from developing cavities from too much sugars.  And call our office at Brogdon Dental to make your appointment for cleaning. Now is the time to take control of your and your children’s dental health.