When it comes to keeping teeth healthy, everyone knows brushing at least twice a day is the best advice around. And while most folks don’t give much thought to the tool that gets that job done, it’s come a long way over the years.
From as early as 3000 B.C., ancient civilizations used various types of “chew sticks.” These thin twigs were frayed at the end so they could be rubbed against the teeth to help keep them clean. The earliest known “modern” toothbrush dates back to about 1498 when it was invented in China. Bristles on this brush were made of stiff hog hairs that were fastened to handles made of bone or bamboo. It wasn’t until 1938 that Dupont de Nemours introduced nylon bristles, which are used in toothbrushes today.
Now days, brushes come in a seemly endless variety of brush head shapes, colors and designs. But when it comes to getting teeth the cleanest, the best option is to toss those old fashioned manual brushes in favor of an electric toothbrush.
At Just Wright Dental, we offer patients the option to purchase a Sonicare toothbrush at cost, in order to encourage excellent home oral care. We like the Sonicare because it’s comfortable and easy to use plus it removes up to seven times more plaque than a traditional toothbrush. That’s because the Sonicare makes 31,000 brush strokes per minute compared to the average 300 strokes per minute when using a manual toothbrush.
One of the biggest problems we see with traditional brushes, is often people brushing too hard. This can cause gum irritation and abrasion. With an electric toothbrush, there’s no need to apply any pressure as the brush moves automatically, patients only need to hold it to the surface of the teeth.
Another problem an electric toothbrush solves is ensuring patients are brushing for the appropriate amount of time. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the average amount of time a person spends brushing with a manual tooth brush is only 45 to 70 seconds. At least two minutes of brushing is needed to properly remove debris and bacteria. The Sonicare toothbrush has built-in, two-minute brushing timer as well as alerting beeps to ensure all four quadrants of the mouth are brushed for the proper amount of time.
There are several different models of Sonicare’s available, one especially for children. If you’re ready to toss out the old and move on with better brushing habits, stop by our office and check out what’s available. You’re smile will thank you for it!