The Downhill Slide Although most people think they know the reasons for proper, daily tooth brushing, few people realize that clean teeth and healthy gums can protect against a variety of general, even life-threatening, health problems. When you don't brush regularly, harmful bacteria multiply and plaque forms. Combined with sugar, saliva, mucus, and food debris, plaque creates a strong acid substance that eats away protective tooth enamel to cause tooth decay. A downhill slide can result.
Over time, the decay works its way below the enamel to infect tooth dentin, and this can cause pain and kill teeth. Meanwhile, plaque build up on tooth surfaces irritates gums, causing them to pull away from the teeth and expose the sensitive tooth roots. Loose gums form pockets where bacteria and infection gather. This nasty stuff can destroy the bone that holds teeth secure, resulting in tooth loosening or loss. Finally, chronic gum disease can break down the protective barrier between oral bacteria and your blood stream. This allows bacteria to enter your blood stream and increases the risk for a host of health problems like heart disease, stroke, respiratory illness, diabetes complications, and pregnancy complications.
The Uphill Climb Maintain good oral health by establishing a solid habit of brushing twice daily with a soft toothbrush, using the proper technique and quality fluoride toothpaste, and flossing carefully once a day. What's the best brushing technique? That depends on your personal dentition, but general guidelines apply to all patients.
First, choose toothpaste with the CDA seal of approval. You should spend at least two to three minutes brushing with a small, soft, angled brush in little, circular motions at the gum line, then sweeping up the teeth. Repeat this as you cover 2 to 3 teeth at a time, applying gentle pressure. Harsh brushing can damage gums and cause painful sensitivity. After brushing your teeth, remember to brush or scrape your tongue to remove germs and bacteria that harm teeth and cause bad breath. Finally, rinse your entire mouth with water and spit out the debris. Brush twice daily or after meals, and floss between teeth once a day.
For more thorough brushing, consider purchasing an electric toothbrushsuch as Sonicare brand which uses a sonic wave motion as opposed to the rotary or spinning action brushes. (Tracey does not recommend spinning action brushes) Some sonic wave models feature an automatic cut off or warning light that kicks into action when you brush too harshly.
Replace your toothbrush every three to four months so that the bristles remain effectively positioned and clean. For fresh breath and further prevention of bad bacteria, follow up with an over-the-counter, non-alcholic mouthwash.
You may not realize that even when your mouth is clean, bacteria lurk in the warm, damp cave, growing and eating incessantly. These naturally occurring microorganisms make a delicacy of even the most minute food particles, after which they deposit a sticky residue on the teeth called plaque. After you brush and floss, plaque accumulates throughout the day and night, especially in places where toothbrushes can't reach. Left to harden into tartar, plaque build-up irritates gums and can trigger inflammation and gum disease. Sound like a nasty situation? It doesn't have to be. In fact, you can virtually eliminate plaque by carefully brushing and properly flossing every day.
It's really that simple: your toothbrush cleans the tops and sides of your teeth, while the floss cleans between them. Flossing also polishes teeth and controls bad breath. An extra two or three minutes spent flossing each day can give you a huge advantage in the war against those bad bacteria. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing twice and flossing once daily.
Two Techniques Correct flossing is a fairly easy thing to learn: either via the spool method, if you're quite dexterous, or via the loop method if you're less nimble with your fingers. To use the spool method, simply pull off about 18 inches of floss, wind most of it lightly around your middle finger. Don't pull tightly and cut off your circulation! Then wind the remaining floss around your other hand's middle finger to take up the used floss as you go. Now, push the floss in between your teeth using your index fingers and thumbs. Gently bring the floss up and down several times around both sides of each tooth, making sure to reach below the gum line, forming a C around each tooth with the floss. Pull or push it against your gums carefully so that you don't hurt them; avoid rubbing it from side to side.
To use the loop method, pull off an 18-inch strand of floss, then make it into a circle. Tie the circle with three secure knots, and place all of your fingers (not your thumb) within the loop. Next, use your index fingers to direct the floss through your lower teeth, and your thumbs to direct it through your upper teeth. Again, be sure to clean below the gum line, and make the floss form a C around the sides of each tooth.
If you're not especially skilled with your hands, or if you have to floss someone else's teeth for them, you may want to consider a pre-threaded flossing tool. These small plastic devices come in bulk packages at drugstores. They are rather inexpensive but very effective.
Styles of Floss
It is important to choose the style of floss recommended by your hygienist. Wide floss, also called dental tape, works well for bridgework or widely-spaced teeth. You may also find that waxed flosses slide more smoothly between tight teeth or restorations. However, textured floss is more effective at removing sticky, stubborn plaque.Click to edit FAQ text. Here is your opportunity to tell customers what they need to know about your products and services, and how your company operates. Do you ship products? Is there parking available for visitors? Do you do any custom orders? The more information you give customers up front, the more prepared they are to make a purchase when they come in or call.
Maybe It Is Your Problem It hides in your mouth, destroying gum tissue and teeth, and it can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and pregnancy complications. Don’t think it’s your problem? Conservative estimates report that up to 80 percent of the population unknowingly has gum disease in some form.
Seventy percent of adult tooth loss is attributed to gum disease. Recent research shows a link between patients who have gum disease and those who suffer from strokes, heart attacks, or complications with diabetes or pregnancy. Gum disease is silent in that early symptoms may be painless and mild, like swollen gums or bleeding while brushing. Regular dental check ups are vital because a professional can detect, treat, and reverse gum disease in early stages before major problems arise.
Cause and Effect Several factors contribute to periodontal disease: plaque buildup, heredity, and lifestyle choices. By far, the most common and controllable factor is bacterial plaque, the sticky, colorless film produced by normal oral bacteria. Bacteria release toxins that break down the natural fibers that bond gums to teeth. When this occurs, pockets between the gums and teeth form, and more bacteria and toxins hide, flourish, and destroy your gums and teeth. Over time, this process can affect not only gums, teeth, and bone within the mouth, but also overall health. Bacteria in your mouth will be inadvertently ingested, and this can compromise your whole-body health.
Maintaining Good Periodontal Health
Regular dental visits at least every six months allow us to keep a watchful eye on the health of your gums. You should also brush twice a day, floss once a day, and use good mouth rinses at home. We will recommend the products that will optimize your oral homecare, and we can also show you the best methods for brushing and flossing. If you have overcome periodontal disease, we will recommend frequent check ups to ensure your mouth stays healthy for a lifetime.Click to edit FAQ text. Here is your opportunity to tell customers what they need to know about your products and services, and how your company operates. Do you ship products? Is there parking available for visitors? Do you do any custom orders? The more information you give customers up front, the more prepared they are to make a purchase when they come in or call.
If you think about it, it makes perfect sense: poor oral health is linked to poor physical health. Your mouth is a key entryway into the rest of the body. If the mouth has a chronic infection or disease, then your entire body may be indirectly or directly exposed to those bacteria.
Research shows connections between periodontal disease and poor cardiovascular health, increased risk of stroke, diabetes, problem pregnancies, respiratory diseases, and osteoporosis in women and now some cancers. What's more, some studies indicate that people who lose all of their natural teeth may have a much shorter life span.
If you want to up your odds of a happy, healthy life, treat your body with respect and put your money (and effort) where your mouth is. Try starting with the basics: learn the latest tips, techniques, and tools for top-notch oral hygiene. Then, branch out: incorporate a healthy diet, exercise, fresh air, and sufficient uninterrupted rest. Eliminate unhealthy habits, and remember, taking care of your teeth can benefit your whole body.
As our patients, your health and wellness are important to us. If you have questions about your oral health and its impact on your general health, please call our office, email us, or schedule a consultation today.
According to an article by the ADA, “Many dental professionals are concerned that their patients are consuming record numbers of sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and non-nutritious snacks that affect their teeth.” Poor choices in your diet can lead to tooth decay. Did you know that when sugar meets plaque, an acid forms and attacks teeth for up to 20 minutes?
Common consequences of an unhealthy diet are weight gain, low energy, and weak bones, but what about teeth? Snack-happy Americans are notorious for eating all the wrong things at the wrong times, loading the body with sugars that pass through the teeth before moving on to deteriorate overall health. Next time you order a cola or sweet beverage, remember that up to 11 teaspoons of sugar per serving will throw a party with the plaque in your mouth, and you may end up spending hours in the dental chair.
How can you avoid this fate? Drink water – up to 10 glasses per day - and choose nutritious snacks like raw fruits and veggies, nuts, cheese, plain yogurts, and boiled eggs. Tracey recommends eating cheese at the end of a meal to neutralize acids in your mouth. With consistency, evidence shows that a healthy diet will not only rescue your teeth, but also revitalize your metabolism, reduce body fat, and improve physical endurance, mental alertness, and well being.Click to edit FAQ text. Here is your opportunity to tell customers what they need to know about your products and services, and how your company operates. Do you ship products? Is there parking available for visitors? Do you do any custom orders? The more information you give customers up front, the more prepared they are to make a purchase when they come in or call.
The Crux of Bruxism Some patients react to stress by grinding their teeth unconsciously during the day or, more commonly, while sleeping. The constant pressure and motion can harm teeth, as well as muscles and tissues in and around the jaw. The condition, known as bruxism, can sometimes be remedied with a nightguard but Tracey suggests that this approach is not a universal solution.
The Facts About Clenching & Grinding Bruxism is known as a sleep disorder that manifests orally. Common symptoms of bruxism include a sore jaw, sore eyes, headaches or earaches, stiff neck muscles, and vivid dreams. Causes vary, but may include stress, anxiety, tension, misaligned teeth, posture, diet, sleeping habits, and other factors. Bruxism is most prevalent in adults but can be detected in children.
Individuals who react to stress with anger, pain, frustration, aggression, or competition are most commonly affected. People with bruxism may have other biting habits, such as biting fingernails, pencils, lips, or the insides of their cheeks.
Constant clenching and grinding of the teeth cannot only cause the aforementioned symptoms, but it may also contribute to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, which has a long list of side effects associated with pain in the head and neck. Teeth rubbing together consistently will result in surface wear over time, which will cause dental problems. Insomnia, eating disorders, and depression can result from bruxism left untreated.
A Solid Solution How can you stop an unconscious habit? A thorough evaluation will allow us to check your teeth, tissues, and muscles. If we determine that you suffer from bruxism, we will recommend alternative therapies including referrals to specialists to help treat the symptoms. An orthotic appliance may be recommended (also called a nightguard or splint) to prevent grinding and clenching. Many types of nightguards exist. These may include mouth-formed guards also known as Boil & Bites. Patients may react differently to the various styles. If one appliance does not work, another may. In many cases, simply wearing a nightguard will eliminate the problem. However, if the condition persists, we can prescribe alternative therapies to correct the issue.
Some practices that can relieve symptoms of bruxism include stress and anxiety management, focused facial relaxation, massage and stretching of face and neck muscles, applying ice or wet heat, proper rest, eating soft foods, and hydrating the body. If your teeth were damaged because of bruxism, or if we find TMJ to be a factor, we will help treat you to provide complete relief.
More than 90 million people struggle with chronic bad breath. Typically, poor oral hygiene habits leave decaying food particles, other debris, and bacteria in the mouth. These conditions produce volatile sulfur compounds just like those found in rotten eggs, resulting in foul-smelling breath. Chewing gum, mints, and normal mouthwash won't cure halitosis.
Bad breath is also one of the main symptoms of a serious underlying periodontal condition: gum disease. Many patients who come to us for help with halitosis don’t realize they actually have some form of gum disease. Although gum disease is terribly pervasive, it's also preventable. When you visit our office because of halitosis, we will carefully check for the warning signs of gum disease: red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums, gums pulling away from teeth, loose or separating teeth, pus between the gum and tooth, bite changes, and/or a change in the fit of partial dentures. If gum disease exists, treating it may also cure your halitosis.
Internal infections, diabetes, kidney failure, liver malfunction, and radiation treatment for cancer can contribute to halitosis. Lifestyle conditions such as stress, dieting, snoring, advancing age, and hormonal changes may also stimulate bad breath.
Hygiene, Rinses, & Relationships Regardless of the cause, bad breath is treatable even if it is not associated with gum disease. First, institute effective oral hygiene: regular professional cleanings, brushing twice each day, daily flossing, and tongue cleaning. Effective tongue cleaning with a specially designed scraper will remove bacterial build-up 10 times more effectively than a toothbrush.
If meticulous hygiene is insufficient for eliminating bad breath, invest in a professional breath kit such as BreathRx (available in our office), which includes a specially formulated toothpaste, a chloride-based rinse that destroys those odorous volatile sulfur compounds for up to 5 hours, and tongue scraper. Most people notice an immediate improvement.
Getting the Bite on Mouthguards Helmets, knee pads, shin guards…if you’re an avid athlete or the parent of one, you know the importance of proper protective gear. But did you know that up to 40 percent of all sports injuries involve the face? Protect your smile and your mouth with a comfortable, custom-molded mouthguard to dramatically reduce the risk of sports-related oral injury.
What is a Mouthguard? A mouthguard is a comfortable piece of athletic gear that fits over your teeth and can help protect your smile as well as your lips, tongue, face, and jaw. New research indicates that mouthguards can even reduce the severity of concussions.
While hockey, boxing, and rugby players would obviously benefit from mouthguards, others, like bicyclists, weightlifters, and gymnasts, made the ADA’s list of athletes who need mouthguards. This may sound excessive, but studies show that 13 to 39 percent of all dental injuries are sports related. Because the face is an important part of a person’s image, self confidence, and sometimes success, it’s better to be safe than…toothless!
Before facemasks and mouthguards were required in football, half of all players’ injuries occurred in the mouth. During the playing season, players had a one in ten chance of mouth injury. Once high schools and colleges began requiring facemasks and mouthguards, the number of injuries reported dropped by 200,000 per year. Naturally, dental professionals and the ADA recommend mouthguards for adults and children in any recreational activity that poses the risk of injury to your mouth.
Types of Mouthguards Ready-Made Mouthguards You may have seen ready-made mouthguards in a department or sporting goods store. These generic mouthguards are inexpensive and readily available. Unfortunately, because they are not custom-fitted, they may seem bulky and uncomfortable in your mouth. Ready-made mouthguards are secured by closed jaws which means, when an athlete wears a ready-made mouthguard, speaking and breathing may be difficult.
Mouth-Formed Mouthguards If you’re looking for something that is more custom fit to your mouth, you might consider mouth-formed mouthguards. Acrylic, shell liner mouthguards provide a comfortable and secure fit over your natural teeth. Unfortunately, many users report that this mouthguard can have an unpleasant odor or taste. It can also harden over time and lose its flexibility. Another type of mouth-formed mouthguard, the thermoplastic style, can be customized by heating it in water, then biting it. It will take on the shape of your bite. While these maintain their flexibility, they can feel bulky.
Custom-Made Mouthguards The best solution, custom-made mouthguards are comfortable, practical, and protective. A dental professional creates the custom-made mouthguard after taking impressions of your teeth.
Before you purchase any mouthguard, talk to your dental professional. Special mouthguards or mouth protectors are recommended for patients with braces, removable bridges or dentures, a protruding jaw, or a cleft palate.
Mouthguard Care Always wear your mouthguard during practice and games. Never chew on it because you may weaken the material and decrease its effectiveness. Holes, tears, and damage to the mouthguard may irritate your gums or soft tissue. If you notice damage, replace your mouthguard immediately.
Before and after each use, check your mouthguard for damage and rinse it with cold water or mouthwash. You should regularly clean your guard with a toothbrush and toothpaste or in a solution of soapy water. Be sure to rinse it well and store it in a firm, perforated container. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight high temperatures.
Most importantly, you should schedule regular dental check-ups, including one right before the playing season starts. When you see your dental professional, bring your mouthguard and discuss any problems or concerns you may have.
ADA & ASD Advice The American Dental Association and the Academy of Sports dental professionalry recommend mouthguards for athletes who participate in:
Acrobatics Bandi Baseball Basketball Bicycling Boxing Equestrian Events Field Events
Field Hockey Football Gymnastics Handball Ice Hockey Inline Skating Lacrosse Martial Arts
Racquetball Rugby Shot Put Skateboarding Skiing Skydiving Soccer Softball
Squash Surfing Volleyball Water Polo Weightlifting Wrestling
If you have questions about mouthguards, call us. We’ll be happy to help you decide which type of mouthguard is best for you.
People seldom have a clear idea of the actual status of their dental health. Even with lights and mirrors, a patient can’t see what the dental professional can – that is, until now.
We use intraoral cameras, so when you visit the centre, you can sit comfortably back in the chair and get ready for the show. The dental professional or hygienist will insert a pen-sized, camera-tipped wand into your mouth. Covered with a disposable plastic sheath for contamination prevention, the wand simply takes a video of the inside of your mouth and transmits the images via cable to a computing unit. The computing unit enlarges the full-color images and sends them to a TV screen that you can comfortably view from the dental chair. Aha! There it is – your mouth on the screen. The dental professional can point out problem areas and explain his recommendations for treatment, so you’ll become an informed partner in your dental care instead of a clueless bystander.
Seeing your dental problems may seem overwhelming at first, but consider the experience the first step toward a healthier, fresher smile. The camera may reveal the early stages of potentially serious problems, allowing you the opportunity to prevent small problems before they escalate. This is especially helpful with gum disease and conditions that cause damage without causing pain. The camera's honest survey can also show you how your regular home hygiene routine is paying off. The dental hygienist or dental professional can recommend ways to improve your homecare based on their findings.
I you want to learn more about the technologies that enhance patient care in our office, call us today. We’re always happy to explain the new innovations in dental professionalry and how they can improve your dental experience.
What We See Is What We Get We've invested in a new way of looking into your mouth—a procedure that's fast, comfortable, and incredibly precise. Using digital radiography, we can clearly identify all external and internal anatomical structures and accurately diagnose your dental problems. Even more amazing, we can immediately translate that information into a large, clear, accurate image, projected to a monitor that patient and doctor can study together in the operatory. You won’t even have to leave your chair. Digital radiography’s technology improves and simplifies the way we care for our patients’ teeth, resulting in better dental evaluations and treatment decisions. As the most important member of your dental team, you need to understand the condition of your mouth, as well as our recommendations for treatment. Digital radiographs help us help you.
Reduced Radiation, Radical Results Traditionally, dental professionals used X-rays to see what the naked eye could not; X-rays were developed in a darkroom with hazardous chemicals, and then viewed on a special light board. The developed X-rays had to be stored, which required large filing systems. By far, the worst part of traditional X-rays was the radiation exposure to patients. Digital radiography has completely transformed this process.
Now, when you come into the office for X-rays, a tiny sensor is placed in your mouth to detect small amount of radiation – up to 90-percent less than traditional X-rays required. This creates an detailed image of your internal oral structures that is immediately viewable on a chairside monitor, carrying with it all the conveniences of other digitized images. We can rotate and magnify it, adjust it for contrast, and even color-code it for educational purposes. The digital images store easily and efficiently in our computer files, safe and sound. For insurance purposes, referrals, or patient education, digital X-rays can be easily, inexpensively, and accurately reproduced indefinitely.
Digital X-rays offer unparalleled benefits over traditional radiographs: they’re convenient, safe for the environment, provide a great opportunity for patient education, can be transferred and copied accurately, and best of all, they’re safer for our patients. If you have questions about digital X–rays, call us. We’ll do all we can to help.
Note: Provincial standards require dental offices to have regular inspection of radiographic equipment. At Wildrose Dental Hygiene Centre we are rigorous in our compliance with these standards. In everyday practice we strive to maintain ALARA - an acronym for "As Low As Reasonably Achievable".
Grapefruits aren’t just for breakfast anymore. According to researchers at Pace University, grapefruit extract in toothpaste can kill oral viruses. The researchers also noted that adding aloe, zinc, and grapefruit extract to mouthwash and toothpaste kills viruses in the oral cavity, and thus eliminates their passage into the body.
More and more Americans go to a female dental professional, according to a recent survey by the American Dental Association. The survey reports that the largest percent of practicing dental professionals were in the 35 to 45 year old group. This age-related group has 48 percent of the female dental professionals and 32 percent of male dental professionals. In the under 35 group, 12 percent were male dental professionals while the same group contained 37 percent of female dental professionals. In the group representing dental professionals aged 55 to 64, only three percent were women and 17 percent men. This survey clearly shows the rapid inclusion of female professionals as dental professionals over the past 15 years.
Are you a wine drinker? According to a study at Guy’s Hospital in London, the acid in wine was shown to erode the enamel on teeth. A wine taster had been exposed to so much wine that only the fillings were protruding in some of the subject’s teeth. Any individual who tastes or drinks wine often should clean his or her mouth at least twice a day. Typically, red wine causes the worst stains on teeth.
Routine dental radiographs may be an effective tool in preventing strokes, according to researchers at the University of Buffalo. Stroke victims usually receive no warning of the impending stroke, but dental radiographs can help spot potentially dangerous calcium buildups in the carotid arteries near both ends of the jawbone. These buildups can choke blood flow to the brain and are a cause of strokes.
Have you ever wished that your dental professional would turn up the music while he/she is drilling your tooth? The American Dental Association recommends that patients listen to music in the dental professional’s office as a form of distraction. A combination of music and an anesthetic during dental procedures can reduce the patient’s blood pressure and pulse rate more than an anesthetic alone. It has also been noted that patients who listen to music at the dental professional office tend to have lower levels of stress-related hormones. Many dental professionals are aware of this anxiety-reliever and provide their patients with headphones.
Does your child go through a tube of toothpaste in two weeks? Too much toothpaste early in life accounts for more than 70 percent of fluorosis cases (staining or mottling of tooth enamel that develops when children swallow fluoridated toothpaste), according to a study at the University of Connecticut. The problem is purely cosmetic, but it is recommended that children under six only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and be reminded to spit it out after brushing.
Dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during participation in sports, according to the National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety. An athlete is 60 times more likely to incur damage to the teeth when not wearing a mouthguard. It is estimated that mouthguards professionally designed by dental professionals prevent approximately 200,000 injuries (such as concussions or dental and mandibular injuries) each year in high school and college football. The stock mouthguard, which can be purchased at sports stores without an individual fitting, provides only a low level of protection, if any.
Do your palms sweat and heart race when you arrive at your dental professional appointment? Patients at the Dental Phobia Treatment Center of New York are offered foot massages, 3-D virtual reality goggles, and aromatherapy to alleviate their fears and help them relax during dental visits. About 35 million people in the US are anxious about dental visits.
Patients don't seem to be as concerned as they should be about the possible link between periodontal disease and strokes, heart disease, diabetes and low-birth-weight babies. Forty-two percent of dental professionals say that periodontal disease is the most pressing oral health issue, according to the 1998 ADA/Colgate Oral Health Trend Survey. Three out of four dental professionals plan to educate patients on possible links between this disease and other medical ailments.
Dental professionals are among the top five most trusted professionals in the United States, according to a study by the Gallop Organization and Consumer Reports.
The next time your dental professional asks if you are taking any medications, don’t forget to mention herbal remedies or alternative medicines, advises the Academy of General dental professionals. Patients tend to forget that multivitamins, ginseng tablets, and herbal teas are considered drugs. High consumption of beverages such as herbal teas, known for their relaxing and soothing qualities, can lower blood pressure and put people at risk of fainting in the dental chair. Keep your dental professional informed to avoid any potentially harmful drug interactions during your dental procedures.
Looking for an excuse to eat chocolate? Many dental professionals agree that raisins can cause more tooth decay than chocolate. Sticky foods, such as raisins and dried fruits, can stay on the teeth longer and cause more decay.
Want to cure bad breath? Mouthwash, sugarless gum, and tongue scrapers are some modern remedies, but Thomas Vicery, a surgeon from the early 17th century, has a more unique suggestion: "Wash the mouth with water and vinegar. Chew mastic (a tree resin used as an astringent), then wash the mouth again with a decoction of annis seeds, mints and cloves soaked in wine."
The popular technique of baking pizza in wood burning stoves could be harmful to your oral health. The smoke from wood burning stoves can cause people to have two to three times the risk of mouth and throat cancers, according to the International Journal of Epidemiology. Wood stoves may be responsible for 30 percent of all such cancers. Cooking and heating stoves are used in more than half the world’s households and have been shown in many areas to generate a number of combustion products that are known, or suspected, carcinogenic agents.
LITTLE KNOWN DENTAL FACTS
What do tree branches, wild boar hairs, and nylon have in common? The bristles of a toothbrush have been made from these items. People have been concerned about their dental hygiene since Egyptian times. Ancient tombs contained small tree branches whose ends had been frayed into soft fibers. In the 15th century, the Chinese made toothbrushes from the neck hairs of a Siberian wild boar. The present-day nylon toothbrush wasn’t invented until 1937.
Powdered fruit, talc, honey, dried flowers, mice, and lizard livers were ingredients in ancient toothpaste and powder. Soap and chalk were suggested components in the 1800’s. Modern toothpaste in collapsible tubes was introduced in the 1850’s. Fluoride wasn't added to toothpaste until 1956.
Toothpicks haven't always been made of wood. In ancient times, people used combination "tooth/ear pickers" made of bone, quills, silver, or gold. These "dentiscalpias" were used freely by even the best-mannered citizens.
Americans purchased over 2.7 million miles of dental floss in 1996. Dental floss was first manufactured in 1882 when it was made from silk. Recently, some floss has been made of Gore-Tex.
The term "indentured servant" has a story behind it. In the colonial days, debtors were shipped from Europe to America to work as servants. Instead of signing a contract, they sealed their agreement by leaving their dental imprint in wax.
The defenders of the Alamo were the first to try chewing gum in America. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the Mexican dictator who fought Davy Crockett and his Texas comrades, introduced modern day chewing gum. His version of chewing gum was chicle, the latex sap of the sapodilla tree. Thomas Adams, an American inventor, used chicle as the base for commercial chewing gums. Rumor has it, chicle could be the source of the brand name "Chicklets."
Francisco Goya, a famous Spanish Artist, depicts a morbid dental custom of his time in the painting "A Caza de Dientas" (or "tooth hunting"). Dental professionals would quickly transplant live teeth, often stolen from the dead, into their patients’ empty alveolar sockets.