Toothbrush design and materials have evolved over the centuries. The one we know and use today was invented in 1938; made of nylon-bristle. But how were people brushing their teeth many thousand years ago? Early forms of the toothbrush have existed for nearly 5000 years. Ancient civilizations removed food with a “chew stick,” a thin twig with a frayed end that was rubbed against the teeth. During the last century or so, toothbrushes were crafted with bone, wood or ivory handles that held the stiff bristles of hogs, boars or other animals.
There are two types of toothbrushes: manual and powered/electric. The size and shape of the brush are made to fit your mouth comfortably, allowing you to reach all areas easily. I will always offer suggestions about which type is suitable for your needs. No matter what type of toothbrush you choose, the American Dental Association recommends that you brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste to clean your teeth thoroughly and to provide fluoride protection against decay.
Both manual and powered toothbrushes can effectively and thoroughly clean teeth. People who have difficulty using a manual toothbrush may find a powered toothbrush easier to use. For children, for example, brushing with a powered toothbrush is more fun, especially because it’s easy and does not require a lot of effort. Grownups, on the other hand, need to exercise a little more! Whether you decide to go manual or powered, choose a toothbrush that you like and find easy to use so that you’ll use it twice a day to thoroughly clean all of your teeth.
Rinse your toothbrush with tap water after brushing to remove any remaining toothpaste and dirt. Store the brush in an upright position if possible and allow it to air dry until using it again. If more than one toothbrush is stored in the same holder or area, keep the brushes separated.
Do not routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers. A moist environment, such as a closed container, is more likely to cause the growth of microorganisms than is the open air.
Toothbrushes need to be replaced every three to four months. That is because the bristles become frayed and worn out and will lose their effectiveness. Toothbrushes wear more rapidly depending on factors unique to each patient. Check toothbrushes often for worn bristles and replace them more frequently if needed. Children’s toothbrushes may need to be replaced more frequently than adults’ toothbrushes.
I hope you had a wonderful Easter Weekend and always feel free to ask any questions!More