You try to take good care of your smile by brushing your teeth twice a day, but are you taking care of your toothbrush? Your toothbrush is one of the most important tools you have for keeping your mouth healthy and clean – in fact, people have been brushing their teeth for thousands of years!
You try to take good care of your smile by brushing your teeth twice a day, but are you taking care of your toothbrush? Your toothbrush is one of the most important tools you have for keeping your mouth healthy and clean – in fact, people have been brushing their teeth for thousands of years! People cleaned their teeth with everything from feathers and porcupine quills to twigs, but the very first recorded toothbrushes were sticks or twigs with a fayed end that resembled bristles. These chew sticks are still used in parts of the world. The bristle toothbrush was invented in China in the 1400s. The bristles were usually made of boar bristles or hair from the back of a boar’s neck. And if you look on Wikepedia, you can even see a picture of the horsehair toothbrush of Napoleon Bonaparte! The first modern, mass produced toothbrush was designed by William Addis in 1780 – while he was in jail!
To be sure your toothbrush is in top working condition, you should change it about every three months. If you have gum disease, increase that to every four to six weeks because the bacteria associated with gum disease can stay in the bristles and re-infect you. You should also get a new toothbrush after you have been sick. Remember that germs are airborne so don’t brush or store your toothbrush within six feet of the toilet.
We recommend that our patients use an electric toothbrush such as the Oral-B for superior cleaning and that you supplement your tooth brushing with an oral irrigator such as the Hydrofloss for the ultimate clean. And don’t forget to schedule your regular exams and cleanings! To find out more about Garden City oral hygiene and how it affects your health, call me, Dr. Nancy Tobin, at 516-747-2535, or visit www.tobindentalcare.com.