Few things have improved dental health like toothbrushes have. Consider, the first bristled toothbrush was found in China during the Tang Dynasty. Its bristles were made from hog hair. 900 years later, in 1840, toothbrushes began being mass produced in England, Japan, Germany, and France. These early toothbrushes used wood and ivory for handles.
Luckily, technology has evolved to the point where we don’t have to put animal hair or ivory into our mouths to maintain our hygiene. Modern toothbrushes are made out of plastic and nylon bristles. Whatever their style and whatever materials they are made from, a recent survey from the Lemelson MIT Invention Index reported that the toothbrush is the #1 invention Americans cannot do without. It only makes sense when you consider dentists recommend we brush our teeth at least twice a day to maintain a healthy smile.
Of course, healthy teeth for kids and adults is about more than our tooth brushes. Dental suction tips, fluoride toothpaste, braces, and more play an important part in our dental health. Using many of those tools, specifically dental suction tips and braces, require we visit a dentist. Unfortunately, however, more than 85 million Americans have no dental insurance, according to The Washington Post.
Just because we may lack insurance that would let us take advantage of modern dental technology and techniques, like dental suction tips, doesn’t mean we have to let our teeth rot. If you are in a similar situation, follow these steps to learn how to correctly brush your teeth and maintain your oral health at home.
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- Start by Flossing
- Use the Right Tools
- Don’t Rush
- Massage Your Gums
- Rinse the Brush
According to the American Dental Association, we should floss before we brush. By removing the plaque between our teeth, we allow the fluoride in toothpaste to penetrate that space, cleaning and strengthening our teeth fully.
Did you know that toothbrushes and toothpastes are not one size fits all? Some models fit better into our mouths and hands than others. Further, different bristle styles, from soft to firm, work better on different teeth. Mayo Clinic recommends that every American finds what works best for them to get the best results. For example, if you have sensitive gums, try using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste that is formulated for sensitive gums for greater success.
As the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry writes, a huge majority of Americans aren’t spending enough time brushing their teeth. You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day. If you have a hard time doing that, sit down in front of the TV while you brush, and watch as the time flies by.
One of the best dental hygiene tips is to massage your gums while you brush. Gently massaging your gums in a circular motion, according to the ADA, will remove plaque along your gum-line, improving your dental health significantly.
According to England’s National Health Service, the bacteria that live in your mouth like to make a home on your toothbrush. Make sure you rinse your brush after every cleaning with hot water. This will help kill off any bad germs, considerably improving your hygiene.
While we don’t all have access to the latest technology, like dental suction tips, we all have the tools to keep our teeth healthy while we’re at home. Just remember to floss and use the right tools while taking your time. Don’t neglect your gums and give your toothbrush a rinse after to get the healthiest teeth around.