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How to Brush
The earliest toothbrush was crafted in the 1400s by the Chinese. The handle was crafted from bamboo and the bristles were made from the tough hair of the Siberian wild boar. This ingenious little device became a phenomenon and the Siberian wild boar brush spread all over Europe. The only drawback: the hairs of the boar were rough on gums. Without another viable option, the educated used the wild boar toothbrush until the early 1900s. Shortly thereafter, the world was revolutionized with the advent of nylon in the DuPont laboratories in 1937. The world, and our collective gingiva (gums), breathed a sigh of relief.
That Was Interesting, Now How Do I Brush?
The best way to avoid a whole host of disease and complications that can be caused by improper hygiene is to develop good brushing habits. If you teach your children early and practice good oral hygiene throughout your life, you will pass those good habits to all of your future generations.
According to MayoClinic.com, there are several steps to take to practice the best oral hygiene possible:
- Choose the right toothbrush
- Soft bristles are a must. The size and shape should enable easy access to each tooth. Make sure it fits comfortably in your hand.
- Replace your brush every three or four months.
- Floss -- Just do it!
- It’s a painstaking process yes, but it will be the best investment in time you can possibly make for the life of your teeth. Here’s a tip -- floss your teeth in front of the tube!
Brushing Made Easy
For truly clean teeth, you must brush for two minutes! Most adults don’t go nearly that long during their nightly routine, but this is crucial! There are electric toothbrushes on the market that have a timer built in. There are even children’s toothbrushes that light up when it’s time for your child to stop brushing. However you do it, don’t skimp on the length of time you brush: two whole minutes are vital.
- Use short, back-and-forth then up-and-down strokes
- Pay attention to:
- Gum line
- Back teeth
- Areas around fillings/restorations
- Clean outer surfaces of your upper teeth then lower teeth
- Clean inner surfaces of upper teeth then lower teeth
- Clean chewing surfaces
- Brush/scrape your tongue
Electric or Manual
Most dentists will tell you that it’s your preference. Electric toothbrushes definitely have power going for them, but following these easy steps will make brushing with your regular brush just as effective.
Toothpastes, Galore …
There are many types of toothpastes out there that claim to whiten teeth, remove plaque and/or improve your breath. None of these feats will occur, however, if you just brush for 30 seconds. On the other hand, any toothpaste will work if you’re brushing the way you should. It’s not the type of toothpaste, it’s the user wielding the toothbrush that will prevent cavities, tartar buildup, bad breath and stained teeth.
Brushing your teeth is an essential part of your daily regimen, but don’t forget your dental professionals. If you visit your dentist twice a year for checkup and cleanings and you’ve been following these easy steps, you’re bound to hear good news and receive accolades from your dentist for your impressive lack of cavities.