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10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Toothbrushes

 Learn More About Your Toothbrush

We all have toothbrushes and know them as the tools that help us keep cavities at bay (together with fluoride toothpaste, of course), kick plaque to the curb, and freshen up our breaths. But is there anything else we can learn about them? If you want to learn more about your toothbrush, continue reading for some interesting facts about these important teeth cleaning tools.

When choosing a toothbrush, make sure it has the CDA Seal

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) Seal of Acceptance is considered the gold standard when it comes to toothbrush quality. When a brush has this seal, it means that an independent body of scientific experts evaluated it to make sure the handle stays firm and secure with continued use, its bristles do not fall out too soon, and that the toothbrush itself helps reduce your risk for gum disease and cavities.

The toothbrush is five millenniums old

But, in various forms. Ancient peoples used “chew sticks,” which are thin twigs with frayed ends, to remove food particles from their teeth. As time went by, toothbrushes advanced and were made from ivory handles, bone, or wood and stiff bristles from boars, hogs and other animals. The idea of today’s nylon-bristled toothbrush was conceived in 1938.

The first-ever mass-produced toothbrush was developed in prison

An Englishman by the name William Addis was jailed in 1770 for inciting a riot. While in prison, he saw that fellow prisoners were using rags covered in salt or soot to clean their teeth. One day, he saved an animal bone after dinner and received some bristles from one of the guards. According to some accounts, he bored small holes into the piece of bone he had and inserted the bristles before sealing them in place with glue. Once released, he improved his prototype, started a toothbrush company and started mass-producing his toothbrush. Wisdom Toothbrushes, the name of his United Kingdom-based company, still exists to this day.

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Powered or Manual? Your teeth do not care

In the powered and manual debate, things are a wash. According to dental specialists, you only need to brush two times a day for two minutes using a fluoride-based toothpaste. Both powered and manual toothbrushes can thoroughly and effectively clean your teeth. So, it all boils down to which option you prefer. People who have a hard time using manual toothbrushes may find powered ones to be more comfortable. Consult your dentist for advice on which type is best for you.Consult your dentist for advice on which type is best for you.

There is no “exact” order for flossing and brushing

Floss before brushing or brush before flossing – your teeth don’t care. The important thing is that you do both.

Toothbrushes like being aired

Cleaning a toothbrush is very easy: Once done, rinse it with water to remove any debris or remaining toothpaste. Remember to store it upright; that way, it can air dry. If you store your toothbrush with others, ensure they’re separated to avoid cross-contamination. Also, avoid covering your toothbrush or storing it in a closed container. Moist environments like in a closed container create a conducive environment for unwanted bacteria to grow.

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Lifespan: 3 to 4 months

Dentists recommend that you replace your toothbrush after three or four months, or even sooner if its bristles are all frayed. Worn toothbrushes do not do a great job when it comes to cleaning teeth.

When choosing a toothbrush, go for soft

Whether you use a powered or a manual toothbrush, always settle for one with soft bristles. Medium-strength and firm bristles could potentially damage your enamel and gums. When brushing your teeth, avoid applying too much force – use enough vigour to clean the film of debris off your teeth. The fluoride toothpaste will handle the rest.

Remember: Two minutes, two times a day

Four minutes a day will do wonders for your dental health. Make sure you put the time in every day to maintain a healthy smile and do your best to make brushing twice a day a habit.

Sharing is caring, but it is a big no-no for toothbrushes

Sharing your toothbrush could mean you are also sharing bacteria and germs; especially if you have the flu or a cold to spread, or if you suffer from a condition that has the potential to leave your immune system compromised.

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