Category Archives: National Children’s Dental Health Month

A Little History And a Few Fun Facts About The Toothbrush

Boy brushing his teethBrushing our teeth has long been touted as an important part of oral health. Using a toothbrush, a very simple personal hygiene tool found in every household, we’ve come to make a habit of using it more than twice a day. But, as often as we use the toothbrush, we don’t exactly know what it is, what it’s made from and most especially, how it came to be.

Since February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, below is a quick history of the toothbrush and a few fun facts that you can share with your friends, family, and especially, children.

History of the Toothbrush

Ancient Egypiants are widely regarded as the first group of people to use a toothbrush, constructing one made of twigs and leaves to clean their teeth. Other cultures also adopted the same habit, specifically the Greeks, Romans and Indians. The Miswak, a stick used thousands of years ago to clean teeth are still being used by Muslims around the world per recommendation of their Prophet.

By the 15th century, the Chinese had begun using a toothbrush resembling the one we use today using a literal brush attached to a handle. Around a century later, English noblemen and privileged families began using toothbrushes made out of silver.

William Addis would then go on to invent what’s widely considered as the first modern toothbrush in 1780 while in prison. It’s believed that the idea came to him while get bored of watching how the floors were swept clean using a brush. He’d then fashion the toothbrush using a bone and bristles he had obtained from the guard. Once he got out, Addis would go on to make a fortune by mass producing his invention.

The design of the toothbrush would then be refined over time and in 1938, soft-bristles toothbrushes were invented. Soon enough, companies such as Oral-B would begin mass producing soft-bristled toothbrushes.

Innovation still has not left toothbrushes and up to this day, the design and the bristles are still being refined to better meet modern needs.

Fun Facts

  • Did you know that dentists recommend that the optimal time to spend brushing teeth is about two to three minutes? This would amount to around 122 days in a person’s lifetime. However, according to a recent survey, the average American spends only about 38 to 39 days brushing their teeth over a lifetime. That means that the average American spends only about 30 to 40 seconds brushing their teeth, as opposed to the recommended two to three minutes.
  • In 2003, toothbrushes were considered much more important than phones and cars. However, many years later, another survey showed that roughly around 4 billion people use a mobile device, but about only 3.5 billion actually use a toothbrush!
  • In an effort to cut down on the waste produced by toothbrushes every year, manufacturers have begun selling toothbrushes made out of recyclable materials, as well as ones that feature replaceable heads.
  • While modern toothbrushes are usually made from synthetic fiber, it’s said that animal bristles are still used sometimes today.

 

Now that you could very well be considered a toothbrush guru, be sure to start sharing these fun facts with other people, especially children. After all, it is the National Children’s Dental Health Month!

Of course, you may also want to take the time to share just how important proper dental care is, including brushing twice a day, flossing and of course, frequent trips to the dentist for checkups and cleaning.

Call Dr. Gerald Middleton DDS in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 to schedule an appointment. To learn more about the practice visit www.gmdental.com.  

Annie’s Mailbox

We found some great dental advice in a recent column of Annie’s Mailbox, written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar (longtime editors of the Ann Landers column)

Dear Annie: I have a beautiful 3-month-old daughter. We live close to my parents, and they babysit “Abby” all the time.

Here’s the problem. At my last dental visit, my dentist told me about a study that says adults with bad oral hygiene can transmit bacteria to children through kissing and sharing utensils, causing tooth infections in the kids.

My mom hasn’t been to a dentist in years. When I told her about the study and suggested she get a checkup, she blew up at me and now refuses to see her granddaughter. I realize my mother has a phobia, but I thought she’d make the effort for Abby’s sake. How can I make her understand that this is not an attack on her, but about the well-being of my daughter? — Clean Teeth in Pennsylvania

Dear Penn: Tooth decay is caused by specific germs and is more common among young children than any other chronic illness. Some of this is caused by poor brushing and flossing, too much sugar in the diet, and relying exclusively on bottled water, which usually doesn’t have fluoride. But it also happens when saliva is transferred to the baby’s mouth by eating from the same spoon, sharing cups and utensils, letting your toddler put your toothbrush in his mouth, or kissing the baby on the mouth if you have poor dental hygiene. Only those with active tooth decay can spread this bacteria. So when you blow on a bite of food, touch it to your mouth and then feed it to your baby, you may be transferring bacteria.

Your mother’s phobia is so severe that she has chosen not to see her grandchild rather than submit to a dentist. This not only damages her relationship with Abby, but risks her physical health, as poor dental hygiene can lead to heart disease. But there is a simpler solution. Please explain all this to Mom and ask her to be careful around Abby. Then wipe the baby’s teeth, tongue and inner cheeks with a clean, wet cloth every few hours, whether she’s around Mom or not.
Read more at http://www.arcamax.com/lifeadvice/anniesmailbox/s-1180034#gLohRgThzmoJ6Cg4.99

Pediatric Dental Disease

Here are some startling facts regarding children and their dental health. According to the National Children’s Oral Health Foundaton:

-Pediatric dental disease is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever

-44% of American children will suffer from pediatric dental disease before they reach kindergarten

-73% of preschoolers and 48% of primary school age children who have experienced cavities currently have unfilled cavities

-4.5 million children develop pediatric dental disease every year

-While the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends that every child establish a dental home by their first birthday, only 1.5% of 1-year-olds have had a dental office visit compared with 89% who have had an office-based physician visit.

Join us in our effort to promote dental health and overall well being for children!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month


Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Our office goal this month is to ensure that all our patients know about the importance of developing good habits at an early age; and that scheduling regular dental visits helps young people get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

All month long we’ll be focusing on answering your questions about children’s oral health and providing fun activities for kids to do when they come in to our office. Children’s teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and a healthy smile is important to a child’s self-esteem. With proper care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits, their teeth can remain healthy and strong.