Surprising Facts About Your Toothbrush

The first toothbrushes were essentially just spliced strips of fragrant bark, some of which may have possessed antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. These early dental hygiene devices were used by the Egyptians and were later adopted by the Greeks and Romans.

The first bristle-based toothbrush was invented in 15th century China, but it would take several hundred more years before it assumed a form that we would recognize today. However, while it can be found in every American home and is owned by several billion consumers worldwide, there’s a lot about this simple and essential tool that the average user doesn’t know.

Prisoners Helped to Inspire Them It

As discussed already, toothbrushes have existed in some form or another for thousands of years and while early forms were invented by the Chinese in the 15th century, these didn’t become commercially available and were all but forgotten by the rest of the world.

This changed in the 18th century, when an Englishman by the name of William Addis designed and manufactured a toothbrush that used a handle and many fine bristles. He got the idea after noticing that prisoners were using rags covered in salt to clean their teeth. Desperate for a way to scrub the dirt out of their mouth, the convicts had just used whatever they had to hand, which both disgusted and inspired Addis.

Addis saved an animal bone from his meal, borrowed some bristles from a guard, and inserted them after drilling many small holes into the bone. He had created one of the first modern toothbrushes to be seen in the west and he would later use a similar method to create and manufacture a prototype.

The American Dental Association Approves Them

The American Dental Association (ADA) is an organization devoted to keeping America’s teeth clean. It funds research into oral hygiene topics and has been overseeing this industry for over 150 years. 

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The ADA Seal of Approval is added to products that meet the organization’s strict quality control. If you see this seal, it means the toothbrush is well made, safe, and durable. It should not fall apart under regular use and the bristles are made from a safe, long-lasting material that will not harm your gums.

The same seal is added to toothpaste and for the same reasons. It’s something that all brands seek and something that all consumers should pay close attention to.

You Should Rinse First

There is no “correct” order when it comes to your dental hygiene routine. However, many experts believe that you should floss, rinse, and then brush, even though the majority of users brush first and then rinse.

The logic behind this is that flossing will dislodge particles of food and bacteria which you can then wash away. You brush at the end so the fluoride remains on your teeth, where it can work its magic. If you rinse after brushing, you’re washing all that fluoride away and if you follow this by flossing, those particles may remain in your mouth.

They Are Riddled with Bacteria

The average consumer has a lot of bad habits when it comes to storing and maintaining their toothbrushes. Experts recommend the brush head is changed every 3 to 4 months, but many consumers keep the same head or brush for over a year. 

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What’s more, they are often kept in the bathroom. You’ve probably heard the story about “particles” landing on your toothbrush after someone flushes the toilet with the seat up. This does happen and it’s every bit as disgusting as it sounds, but it’s not the only issue. The bathroom is a warm, moist place, which means that any bacteria on your brush head will multiply rapidly. If you use a plastic cap to keep it protected, you will create even more issues, trapping all that moisture and bacteria inside.

It’s Possible to Brush Too Hard

You should brush for at least 2 minutes a time and at least twice a day. It’s not really possible to brush too much or too many times, but it is possible to brush too hard and doing so could damage your teeth and gums while reducing the lifespan of your brush head.

If you find that your bristles are splayed and jagged after just a few weeks, you’re brushing too hard and maybe doing serious harm. Not only can those hard bristles dig into your gums, but every time you damage them you create jagged edges and become even more susceptible to harm.

You Can’t Brush Your Way to White Teeth

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This is something we have said many times but something that is always worth repeating: No amount of brushing will give you perfectly white teeth. Those celebrities you see on TV didn’t get their brilliantly white grills from endless brushing using whitening toothpaste.

A toothbrush will only clear the plaque from your teeth and reduce the discoloration and bad odors that it causes. If you still have discoloration after vigorous brushing or you want whiter-than-white teeth, you need a safe, at-home bleaching kit like the Snow Teeth Whitening Kit.

This attacks the stains that occur on your dentin, the layer that sits behind your enamel and can’t be reached by your brush. One application is all it takes to notice some results!