Brush Up On Some Toothbrush History

WITH ALL THE AMAZING technology we see today, it’s easy to overlook the small wonders of the world—like the toothbrush! This small, but remarkable invention is the staple of our oral hygiene and health. Join us on a journey through time as we explore the way the toothbrush has changed across the ages!

Ancient Civilizations Used Sticks to Clean Their Teeth

Today, we understand the importance oral hygiene plays in our overall health. But even over 5,000 years ago people recognized the need for some type of oral care. Babylonian and Egyptian civilizations around 3500-3000 B.C. made “toothbrushes” by fraying the end of sticks and chewing on them! Later, the Chinese made similar chewing sticks from aromatic tree twigs that were meant to freshen breath. People didn’t just use sticks, however. Bird feathers, animal bones and even porcupine quills were used to pick at food debris in the teeth.

The First Toothbrushes Were Made with Pig Hair

The first mention of an actual brush to clean teeth appears in Chinese writings around the 13th century. Bamboo or animal bone was used as the handle of the toothbrush and pig hair formed the bristles. Toothbrushes weren’t widely used or produced, however, until a couple hundred years later.

Around the year 1780, an Englishman named William Addis was sitting in his prison cell thinking of better ways to clean our teeth than rubbing them with a rag full of soot and salt (yuck!). He carved a handle out of animal bone, made some holes at the top and tied swine bristles to it. When he got out of prison, he turned toothbrush production into a business and made a fortune!

The Modern Toothbrush Continues to Evolve Today

As appetizing as pig hair sounds, aren’t you glad toothbrushes nowadays are made with nylon bristles? Nylon was invented in 1938 and by the 1950s, toothbrushes began to look and feel more like they do today. More technological advances made it possible to develop toothbrushes even further, and the electric toothbrush made its way to the United States in 1960.

People are still looking to drive toothbrush technology forward. New apps are being created all the time to make tooth-brushing easier and more enjoyable. It even looks like built-in cameras may be in the future of toothbrushes!

The Toothbrush: One of Man’s Greatest Inventions?

The idea of the toothbrush was simple, but there’s no doubt it has greatly contributed to our oral and overall health. In fact, when a group of people were asked which invention they could not live without, the toothbrush beat out the car, computer, cell phone and microwave!

So, don’t take your toothbrush for granted. Use it twice daily for a full two minutes! Your pearly whites will thank you.

Image by Flickr user William Warby used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

To Whiten or Not To Whiten: What options are best for you?

How white are your teeth? Many of us would probably answer, “they could be whiter.” Your teeth naturally become darker with age. Your lifestyle can also affect the whiteness of your smile as regular coffee and tea drinkers can attest. It’s also painfully obvious that smoking is detrimental to both the appearance and health of your smile. While certain medications can permanently stain your teeth, most do not. So what can you do for a whiter smile? We’ve all seen products at the grocery store that claim to effectively whiten teeth but how do you know what works for you?

Teeth whitening really depends on the individual. If you’re looking for information on cosmetic dentistry including whitening, schedule your appointment with Omni Dental today. Come to any of our convenient locations and let us educate you on the different options available. Moreover, ask about cosmetic dentistry options that, together with whitening, can bring about your ideal smile.

While professional whitening may seem extreme for someone looking to change their smile only a shade or two whiter, many report that this option brings the most dramatic results in the shortest period of time. Furthermore, if your teeth are severely stained, professional office whitening may be the only option.

Professional whitening is non-evasive and simply requires time. After you have scheduled an appointment at one of our convenient locations, your dentist will apply the whitening formula directly onto your teeth. In order to activate the whitening formula, we may use either special lighting, heat, or a laser. You will then simply allow the formula to work as you rest in one of our comfortable chairs for 30 to 60 minutes.

Often times patients find dramatic results after the first treatment; however, each case is different. Allow us to guide you through your treatment options to better manage your expectations. A lifestyle change, including a change in diet or smoking habits, may be needed in order to sustain the results. Omni Dental typically advises to have several professional whitening appointments to produce maximum results.

Our team at Omni Dental understands that your schedule and lifestyle may not call for professional whitening. If you would like to test out over-the-counter whitening products, consult your dentist for professional advice. Remember that your smile is one of a kind, so what may work for someone else may not work for you.

A good way to test the waters is by using whitening toothpaste and whitening mouthwash. These options are easy to find and even easier to use as part of your regular oral health routine. The difficult part is finding a brand that works for you as many claim to work better than their competitors. You may also find that the results are unsatisfactory even after using them for an extended period of time.

Using whitening strips can also be a good choice for home convenience. While it may be slightly tricky to apply the strips directly onto your teeth at first, it will get easier with each application; however, you typically must apply the strips once a day for a week. Again, price may vary by brand and it will be difficult to know what brand works best without first making the initial investment.

Whitening gels and pastes in plastic trays may be an easier alternative to applying whitening strips. Simply use the recommended amount of whitening gel or paste in the given tray and place the tray over your teeth. These trays are generally one-size-fits-all; as such, they can feel uncomfortable if your teeth and mouth don’t conform to the standard size.

Whether you’re looking to learn more about over-the-counter whitening options or want to schedule an appointment for professional whitening, contact Omni Dental today.