The toothbrush as we know it today, made with soft nylon bristles, is a fairly recent invention. In 1938, after the invention of nylon, DuPont created the modern toothbrush.
Before this, brushes made from animal hairs were the standard. Going back even further, in ancient times, twigs were used to remove food particles from teeth. People also chewed certain plants to freshen up their breath.
Today, we have mouthwash, toothbrushes, floss, and several other tools at our disposal to maintain good oral hygiene.
Below, we asked Dr. Ana Chester, at Chester Family Dentistry, to offer some guidance to ensure your oral health habits are of the highest standard.
Soft, small brushes are usually the best, as they won’t damage enamel and are easier to move, ensuring you reach each crevice. Harder toothbrushes are more likely to scratch your gums and make them inflamed.
The next step is to go in-depth with your cleaning routine. Use a stainless steel tartar scraper to remove any excess tartar, and use a stainless steel toothpick to remove any debris between your teeth that your toothbrush couldn’t pick up.
Also, use a mouth mirror to guide you in your cleaning efforts. Mouth mirrors are also helpful in detecting cavities early on.
When you’re using the mouth mirror, avoid breathing through your mouth. That way, the little mirror doesn’t get foggy.
Flossing is essential, especially if you have crowding, which makes it easier for food particles to get stuck between your teeth. With each tooth, floss one time on the left side and one time on the right side.
The type of mouthwash you use at the end is quite important, as mouthwashes containing alcohol may kill the good bacteria in your mouth as well. Alcohol can also make your gums more sensitive, damage your tooth enamel, and dry out your mouth.
Luckily, many types of mouthwash are available that don’t contain any alcohol. A good mouthwash contains fluoride and essential oils that can mask bad smells.
Anyone, regardless of their age or whether they suffer from gingivitis or any chronic oral conditions, benefits from getting a professional dental cleaning at least twice per year.
During the cleaning, Dr. Chester will also look for plaque buildup, signs of inflammation, and cavities. Dental cleanings are your best weapon against tooth decay and periodontal disease. Contact us to schedule an appointment if you haven’t had your first dental cleaning this year.