Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Evolution of the Toothbrush

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Simple Sticks
All the way back to around 3500 BC, Egyptians and Babylonians chewed on sticks.  What else did they have to do all day, back before the Internet?  But it turns out that these sticks actually served a purpose.  By chewing on one end until the fibers formed a small make-shift brush, people could clean the surfaces of their teeth.
Then people discovered Miswak, an herbal chewing stick with healing and antiseptic qualities.  In fact, studies prove that Miswak is superior to the present day toothbrush, and many people prefer it even today!  Curious? Try them out! You can buy them online here: (http://www.miswakstick.com/)
Miswak Toothbrush
Animal Hairs
Around 1500, Chinese dentists stole the hairs right off of an animal’s back!  They would pluck hairs off of cold climate pigs and paste them to a bamboo stick or animal bones.
Other primitive versions of the toothbrush include bird feathers, animal bones, porcupine quills, and boar bristles on a bamboo stick.
Animal Hair Toothbrush
The Modern Toothbrush
Then William Addis came to save the day.  As an inmate in prison, Addis used bones left over from his dinner and bristles that a generous guard provided him to create a toothbrush.  Upon his release, he refined his invention to use cow tail hair drilled and tied to a cow bone.  He then began mass producing his toothbrush and selling it all over the world.
His company still exists today, although they’ve moved beyond oral hygiene. 
William Addis Toothbrushes
The World Wars
Isn’t it hard to believe that the daily routine of brushing your teeth, as we know it today, began such a short time ago?
Brushing your teeth only became popular in the US after soldiers returned home.  During the war, our government had strict requirements for soldiers regarding their oral hygiene.  Brushing your teeth was a hard habit to break, and soldiers brought it home with them. 
During the war, bones weren’t always easy to come by, so handles were made from celluloid.  Then, in 1938, a company called DuPont de Nemours introduced the first nylon bristles. DuPont de Nemours used a support-the-troops marketing campaign, and people were hooked.
American Duty 1
Electric Toothbrushes
Even though it seems like electric toothbrushes are a more recent fad, the first one was invented in Switzerland in 1939, but it wasn’t introduced to the public market until the 1960s.
Originally, electric toothbrushes were intended for the “overly-vigorous type of toothbrushers.”
Overly Vigorous
What can your toothbrush do?
Today, there are over 3000 patents for toothbrushes, and they can do just about anything you want them to do.
The Oral-B Triumph 9100 with SmartGuide wirelessly transmits a map of your mouth to an LCD display and then tells you where you still need to brush and areas that need more attention.
Tooth Tunes uses sound waves to play a song for 2 minutes.  Once the song is over, you know when to stop.
Tooth Tunes
Today, you could spend hours in the toothbrush aisle mulling over all of the choices.  Which toothbrush do you think is the best? Which one gets your kid excited to brush their teeth? Does yours do any cool tricks? 

1-877-Dr Teeth- (360) 740-6212
Town Center Dental
3 Locations - Chehalis, Wa -- Rochester, Wa -- Rainier, Or

Sunday, April 13, 2014

5 Habits That Destroy Your Smile

Academy of General Dentistry spokesperson Steven A. Ghareeb, DDS, FAGD, offers advice on how to keep your smile healthy and pretty by avoiding these five bad oral health habits.

1. Not flossing
Brushing your teeth twice a day is important, but many patients don't realize that flossing at least once a day is just as critical to achieving—and maintaining—a healthy smile. Flossing removes the cavity-causing bacteria left behind from food particles that get stuck between teeth. "Although bleeding and irritation sometimes can occur when you first start flossing, it's important to keep at it," says Dr. Ghareeb. "Your gums will toughen up and your oral health will be better for it."

2. Brushing too soon after eating
Consuming acidic foods and beverages, such as sports and energy drinks, citrus fruits, wine, and tomatoes, can erode tooth enamel—the glossy outer layer of the tooth. Brushing your teeth too soon after eating and drinking these items can cause more damage because you are essentially brushing the acid into the teeth, not getting rid of it. Instead, you should rinse your mouth with water after consuming acidic foods and beverages and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your pearly whites!

3. Not replacing your toothbrush often enough
Not only are old toothbrushes ineffective, but they also harbor harmful bacteria that can cause infections. Toothbrushes should be changed every three to four months. "It's also important to change your toothbrush after you've had a cold," says Dr. Ghareeb.

4. Excessively bleaching your teeth
Overzealous bleaching can cause your teeth to look unnaturally white and increase tooth sensitivity. Before using an at-home bleaching product, talk to your dentist. "He or she can advise you on proper use of these products as well as which type of bleaching system will provide you with the best results," says Dr. Ghareeb.

5. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush
A hard-bristled toothbrush coupled with an aggressive brushing technique can cause irreversible damage to your gums. Use a soft toothbrush and gently brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle, in a circular motion. Using a back-and-forth, sawing motion causes the gums to recede, and can expose the root of the tooth, making teeth extremely sensitive.

Source: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=5&iid=184&aid=11069