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.
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.
You may have heard that your toothbrush can contain germs that can make you sick. The fact is that there is more bacteria in your mouth than anywhere else in your body, so some of these germs can get on your toothbrush when you brush your teeth. Also, since most people store their toothbrush in the bathroom, which is a warm, moist environment, the likelihood of more airborne bacteria increases.
So are there some simple methods you can do to protect your toothbrush from bacteria and yourself from being sick?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a simple regimen for toothbrush care is sufficient to remove most microorganisms from your toothbrush and limit the spread of disease. Here are some common-sense steps you can take:
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after brushing or flossing.
After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with warm water and store it upright to air-dry.
Don’t cover your toothbrush or place it in a closed container until it is completely dry. A moist environment can foster bacterial growth.
Use a completely dry toothbrush. Everyone should have two toothbrushes to give ample time (24 hours) for it to dry out in between uses.
Don’t share a toothbrush with anyone. Also, don’t store toothbrushes in a way that might cause them to touch and spread germs.
Replace your toothbrush every three or four months. Dentists recommend this practice not as prevention against contamination, but because toothbrushes wear out and become less effective at cleaning teeth.
Always replace your toothbrush after a cold or other illness to prevent contamination.
If you or someone else in your family is sick, that person should use a different tube of toothpaste (travel size, for example), to prevent spreading germs to other toothbrushes.
October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Two things important to good dental hygiene is brushing and flossing. Today we will focus on brushing.
According to American Dental Hygienists’ Association
Research shows that brushing for two minutes is the single most important method for reducing plaque and preventing cavities, gingivitis and other plaque-related diseases. Brushing for two minutes twice a day is crucial to maintaining healthy smiles. Proper brushing technique cleans teeth and gums effectively.
Knowyourteeth.com has some easy techniques for you to follow while brushing…
Place a toothbrush (soft, rounded, multi-tufted brush) beside your teeth at a 45-degree angle and gently brush teeth in an elliptical motion. Brush the outside of the teeth, inside the teeth, your tongue, the chewing surfaces and between teeth. Using a back-and-forth motion causes the gum surface to recede, can expose the root surface or make the root surface tender. You also risk wearing down the gum line.
Always brush two minutes, two times a day, every day! 2x 2x 1 = Good Dental Hygiene