The Tooth Brush – A History

October is National Oral Hygiene Month

The modern toothbrush was invented in 1938.  Early forms of a “tooth brush” date to 3000 BC.  Ancient people used a “chew stick”,  a stick that someone would chew on until it became frayed.  The sticks were rubbed against the teeth.

The bristle toothbrush was invented in the mid 1400’s in China.  With handles of bamboo or bone, the bristles were usually taken from an animal with coarse hair.  Boar bristles were often used.  With the invention of plastics in the late 1930’s, nylon bristles were introduced.  The first commercial tooth brush was called Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush.  Disciplined oral hygiene became more of a practice in the 1940’s.  This was due to the disciplined hygiene habits of WWII soldiers.

The first American to patent a toothbrush was H. N. Wadsworth, (patent #18,653) on Nov. 7, 1857.  One of the first electric toothbrushes to hit the American market was in 1960. It was marketed by the Squibb company under the name Broxodent.toothbrush

Sources: loc.gov, colgate.com and history.com

 

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Ask the Expert

October is National Oral Hygiene Month

Dental

We take note of what dental hygienists do and raise awareness of the importance of good oral hygiene and oral health.

It does not matter what age you are, oral hygiene is very important to your overall health. The following are five issues that dental hygienists address: Periodontal Disease, Teeth Whitening, General Oral Care, Cavities and Inflammation

Everyone loves a clean mouth. So, here are the basic steps to keep it clean and healthy!

Floss Daily – There are places a tooth brush just can’t reach.

Brush Twice Daily – Morning and night, brush for two minutes to prevent cavities and gum disease.

Rinse with Mouth Wash – Not only does this keep your mouth clean, it does wonders for your breath.

Question: What is the connection between oral health and overall health?

The mouth is loaded with bacteria. Most of it is harmless, but your mouth is an entry point for your respiratory and digestive systems. Sometimes, harmful bacteria can enter your system and cause disease.

⇒ The body’s natural defense system is strong. Most the time this defense system and good oral hygiene are enough to keep harmful bacteria at bay. But, if you don’t practice good oral hygiene, bacteria can reach high levels causing infections in your mouth that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

⇒ Various diseases such as Endocarditis, Cardiovascular Disease and Pneumonia have been linked to poor oral hygiene.

⇒ Conditions that might affect your overall oral health can include: Diabetes, Osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s Disease. Diabetes can put your gums at risk, Osteoporosis can cause weakening of the jaw bone and tooth loss and Alzheimer’s disease can diminish the ability for one to maintain their own oral hygiene.

Eating a healthy diet and limiting added sugar is also helpful. Avoiding tobacco use will also increase the general health of your gums and mouth. Don’t forget to keep a regular schedule of visiting your dentist and oral hygienist. Contacting your oral health professional as soon as you see a problem will help keep a small problem from getting bigger.

 

*Sources: mayoclinic.org, adha.org, nationaltoday.com

 

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