It is hard to imagine that it was only just over 60 years ago that brushing teeth became routine in the USA (after American soldiers had to clean their teeth daily during World War 11) and yet today, the toothbrush has been voted as the number 1 invention that Americans could not live without.
An interesting story about the history of Wisdom Toothbrushes
William Addis of England is believed to have produced the first mass-produced toothbrush in 1780 after he was jailed 10 years earlier for causing a riot. While in prison, he decided that the method used to clean teeth – at the time rubbing a rag with soot and salt on the teeth – could be improved, so he took a small animal bone, drilled little holes in it, obtained some bristles from a guard, tied them in tufts, passed the tufts through the holes on the bone and glued them. He soon became very rich with this invention. He died in 1808, and left the business to his eldest son who was also called William. The company continues to this day under the name of Wisdom Toothbrushes.
Today we are encouraged to brush our teeth twice a day and if possible after lunch or sweet snacks as brushing properly breaks down plaque.
Here are some 12 suggestions to help you take the best care of your teeth
1. Use a soft tooth brush and just a blob of toothpaste the size of a pea to brush all your teeth back and front in small circular movements for at least 2-3 minutes and don’t forget to brush the tongue as well to keep the breath fresh.
2. The Bass method of brushing is ideal for adults. The brush is placed at 45 degrees to long axis of the tooth. In this brushing technique bristles are forced in the area between the two teeth and the junction of gums with the teeth. Then teeth are brushed with short back and forth strokes with vibratory action. The eating surface is brushed with short anterior and posterior strokes.
3. The Fone's method of brushing is effective for young children where the brush is firmly placed against teeth and gums at 90 degree on the outer surface. The brush is moved in rotary action while teeth are closed. This brushing technique is very easy for children to follow.
4. Problems can arise because of incorrect brushing: gums recede or get irritated and start to bleed; teeth can become stained; the abrasion of teeth can take place or they can become sensitive to hot and cold sensation; or there can be bone loss leading to mobility and ultimately tooth loss.
5. Renew your toothbrush around every 3 months. If you have crooked or irregular teeth, lose a smaller headed brush.
6. An electric toothbrush, with an oscillating or rotating head, may be more effective at getting rid of plaque as well as easier to use for people with limited movement. The head for this type of toothbrush should be replaced every 6 months. Electric toothbrushes are available at different prices from basic to top of the range. You can check out what is available at Amazon.com and I suspect that once you change to an electric toothbrush, you won't want to go back to the ordinary everyday type. Your teeth feel so much cleaner when you do the “sweeping tongue across the teeth
” test – it is as if you have been to the dental hygienist – but everyday and not just twice a year!
7. Once a day, floss between each tooth and along the gum line gently or you can use an inter-dental brush. Finish off with a natural mouth rinse.
8. Book an appointment for a check up and clean with your dentist twice a year. Avoid X-rays if possible and limit to not more often than once in three to five years. Make sure you choose a dentist who does not still use amalgam fillings.
9. Be careful what you eat and drink – lots of fresh vegetables and water are best for your teeth. Sugary and diet sodas are the worst as bacteria love any sugar on your teeth and break it down into acids that eat away tooth enamel and lead to dental erosion which is permanent.
10. The stomach acid in vomit can cause dental erosion too, so always rinse out your mouth several times with water after vomiting and then clean your teeth thoroughly.
11. If plaque isn't cleaned off your teeth regularly, your gums could become red, swollen and shiny and even bleed. This is the early stage of gum disease called gingivitis. Luckily it is completely reversible so if the plaque is removed, the gums will recover.
12. Saliva in your mouth is an important tool in caring for your teeth as it helps to wash away and neutralize any acid. Saliva also contains minerals to replace those lost from the enamel during acid attack. But if sugary food or drinks are consumed too often, our saliva does not have long enough to fully re-mineralize the teeth.
You might even think about changing to a more natural type of toothpaste. All those well known branded and conventional toothpastes are full of synthetic chemicals and even poisons. That is why it is not recommended that you let your children swallow toothpaste in spite of the tempting added flavors.
Check out the ingredients in your favorite tube of toothpaste. You might be surprised at what they contain.