ST. LOUIS, MO – Most adults have 32 teeth. And dentists suggest people brush those teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time, to clean and prevent decay. That’s fairly straightforward. But when it comes to selecting the right toothbrush to do the job, people often become bewildered and confused with the hundreds of options available to them. Today, more than 8,000 patents in the U.S. exist for toothbrushes. Choosing between manual or powered; sonic or non-sonic; soft, medium or hard bristle; expensive or cheap; with a timer or without a timer … the options are endless in the dental care aisles of local stores. And that doesn’t even begin to take into account choosing the handle’s color.
Celebrate the toothbrush and all of its glorious varieties on National Toothbrush Day, June 26, 2016. Local dentist Holly Ellis of Ellis Dental is observing the holiday by helping her patients sort through the toothbrush clutter, dispel toothbrush myths and make their choice of brush much easier. Ellis is skilled at helping patients determine:
- How to choose the right brush for a patient’s needs?
- The differences in the toothbrush head shape and why?
- The difference in hardness and shape of bristles
- The difference in manual, battery and electric
- What a person with specific issues (such as sore gums or sensitive teeth) should look for in a brush?
- How often to change your toothbrush?
In addition, Ellis Dental has compiled some fun and some surprising facts about toothbrushes:
- Before the toothbrush was invented, people used chew sticks made out of twigs or branches.
- Those on record date back as early as 3500 BC. Chew sticks are still used in many countries.
- The first bristle toothbrush dates back to the Chinese Tang Dynasty somewhere between 619-907 and was probably made of hog hair threaded through tiny holes made in bamboo or bone.
- William Addis is often credited with the creation of the modern toothbrush in 1780 while he was in jail. His used bone and horsehair for the bristles.
- The toothbrush became more popular in England in the mid-1800s with the rise of the use of refined sugar.
- The first U.S. patent on a toothbrush was in 1857. By 1885 it was in mass production.
- In 1938 DuPont de Nemours introduced the first nylon bristles on a toothbrush, replacing the animal-hair bristles and revolutionizing toothbrush manufacturing.
- In 1939 the first electric toothbrush was invented in Switzerland. The first one in the U.S. wasn't until 1960.
- Brushing teeth in the U.S. was not popular until after WWII.
Sources: Museum of Everyday Life, Colgate, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
About Ellis Dental
Founded in 2009 by Dr. Holly Ellis, Ellis Dental is a state-of-the-art dental practice dedicated to providing more than 1,900 patients with comprehensive dental care that not only focuses on attaining their optimal oral health, but also incorporates their overall well being. Ellis Dental serves patients of all ages, customizing all dental care to each individual patients’ needs. Ellis Dental is committed to using only the highest quality dental materials, operating best-in-class equipment and incorporating leading-edge techniques into every patient’s visit to ensure the best possible outcomes. The practice is located at 10296 Big Bend Boulevard, 63122. More information is available at: ellisdental.com and Facebook.
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