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)

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.

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.

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss and a Fork 4

When you think of foods that are good for your teeth and gums you probably don’t think about mushrooms. Mushrooms?  Surprisingly, mushrooms can help with plaque formation.

mushrooms

Mushrooms

When plaque lingers on teeth, it hardens and forms tartar, which leads to gum disease. Only a dental hygienist can remove tartar, but shiitake mushrooms can stop plaque from forming in the first place.

A 2000 Japanese study at Nihon University found that a sugar in shiitake mushrooms (lentinan) creates an unfriendly environment for various plaque-causing Streptococcus bacteria.

Beating plaque is as easy as adding a cup of shiitake mushrooms to a stir-fry or stew. 

Yes they are good for your teeth! Who would have known.