Monday, August 3, 2009

Tooth brushing

A photo from 1899 showing the use of toothbrush.

Tooth brushing is the act of cleaning teeth with a toothbrush.

Modern medical research has shown that brushing teeth properly can prevent cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal, or gum disease, which causes at least one-third of adult tooth loss. If teeth are not brushed correctly and frequently, it could lead to the calcification of saliva minerals, forming tartar.

Brushing one's teeth has long been considered an important part of dental care. As long ago as 3000 B.C. ancient Egyptians constructed crude toothbrushes from twigs and leaves to clean their teeth. Similarly, other cultures such as the Greeks, Romans, and Indians cleaned their teeth with twigs. Some would fray one end of the twig so that it could penetrate between the teeth more effectively.


Three toothbrushes

The toothbrush is an instrument used to clean teeth, consisting of a small brush on a handle. Toothpaste, often containing fluoride, is commonly added to a toothbrush to aid in cleaning. Toothbrushes are offered with varying textures of bristles, and come in many different sizes and forms. Most dentists recommend using a toothbrush labelled "Soft", since firmer bristled toothbrushes can damage tooth enamel and irritate gums as indicated by the American Dental Association. Toothbrushes are often made from synthetic fibers, although natural toothbrushes are also known in many parts of the world.


Modern toothpaste gel

Toothpaste is a paste or gel dentifrice used to clean and improve the aesthetic appearance and health of teeth. It is almost always used in conjunction with a toothbrush. Toothpaste use can promote good oral hygiene: it can aid in the removal of dental plaque and food from the teeth, it can aid in the elimination and/or masking of halitosis, and it can deliver active ingredients such as fluoride to prevent tooth and gum (Gingiva) disease.

Tooth Powder

Tooth Powder or Toothpaste Powder as it is sometimes called is an alternative to toothpaste. In some cases, it is recommended especially in situations where the patient has sensitive teeth. Tooth powder typically does not contain the chemical sodium lauryl sulphate which can be a skin irritant. The function of sodium lauryl sulphate is to form suds when teeth are brushed. It is a common chemical in toothpaste.

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