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QUALITY and FREQUENCY, are essential to good home care along with regular office visits, these are keys to a happy, healthy mouth. Thursday, August 22. Dr. Scott Wingard
During Ancient Times
Over the years, anthropologists have found evidence that ancient people used various implements such as pointed sticks for interdental cleaning.
But according to most sources, credit for the invention of dental floss as we know it goes to a New Orleans dentist, who in 1815 began advising his patients to use a thin silk thread to clean between their teeth.
The Evolution Of Dental Floss (1882-1896)
The idea caught on, and in 1882 a company called the Codman and Shurtleft Company, based in Randolph, Massachusetts, began marketing an unwaxed silk dental floss. This was followed in 1896 by the first dental floss from Johnson & Johnson. The New Jersey-based J&J took out a patent for dental floss in 1898 that was made from the same silk material used by doctors for silk stitches.
The Evolution of Dental Floss (1940-1950)
During the 1940s, nylon replaced silk as the material for dental floss-its consistent texture and resistance to shredding were an improvement over the silk versions. The use of nylon also allowed for the development of waxed floss in the 1940s, and for the development of dental tape in the 1950s.
Since then, the variety of types of dental floss has expanded to include newer materials such as Gore-Tex, and different textures such as spongy floss and soft floss. And today's floss has other features to make flossing easier. For example, floss with stiffened ends such as Oral-B's Super Floss is designed to help with flossing around braces or other dental appliances.
Today, floss is a key part of twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and regular use of a mouthwash that make up a healthy routine for maintaining your oral health.
The toothbrush as we know it today was not invented until 1938. However, early forms of the toothbrush have been in existence since 3000 BC. Ancient civilizations used a "chew stick", which was a thin twig with a frayed end. These 'chew sticks' were rubbed against the teeth.
The bristle toothbrush was not invented until 1498 in China. The bristles were actually the stiff, coarse hairs taken from the back of a hog's neck and attached to handles made of bone or bamboo.
Boar bristles were used until 1938, when nylon bristles were introduced by Dupont de Nemours. The first nylon toothbrush was called Doctor West's Miracle Toothbrush.
It is very important to wear a mouth guard to protect that smile. Mouth guards, also called sports guards, refer to any devices worn over teeth to protect them from injury if the athlete is hit in the face or head. There are three catagories:
1.) Customized: you can have a custom mouth guard made by your dentist. These are the most comfortable, and also the most expensive.
2.) "Boil and Bite": this mouth guard is semi-customized. You purchase a preformed plastic shape and customize the fit by boiling the guard in water for a few minutes and then biting into the warm plastic.
3.) Standard: this mouth guard is preformed and cannot be altered to fit a specific mouth. It provides protection but can interefere with breathing or talking due to the inexact fit.
The most important fact is that your child does wear a protective mouth guard when playing sports. Inquire at your dental office if you have more questions or concerns.
Benefits of Mouth Rinses:
Older children and teenagers may express interest in mouthwash as a breath freshning agent, and they can reap the benefits of a fluoride rinse as well. Older children that have braces are especially good candidates for fluoride mouth rinses because the rinse can help prevent teeth from acid producing plaque bacteria which may build-up under the brackets.
Ages 6-12 should only use a mouth rinse under close supervision
Ages 6 an under should not use a mouth rinse due to probability of swallowing it.
In the early 1800s, a pioneering dentist, Levi Spear Parmly, urged patients to clean between their teeth with silk thread — a revolutionary technique that could protect the gum line and prevent tooth decay. But “people just didn’t get it,” says Dr. Scott Swank, curator of the National Museum of Dentistry. In an era during which rotting molars were the norm, he says, “people expected their teeth to fall out.
In the 1870s, Asahel Shurtleff helped to civilize floss when he patented the first dispenser: a bobbin of thread with a U-shaped prong sticking out of its side. The prong worked like a tiny metal hand, guiding floss between the teeth. His invention anticipated the portable floss holders you can now buy in drugstores.
Designers have since given us bubble-gum-flavored floss, Gore-Tex strands and tooth-shaped dispensers — all in an attempt to make flossing seem fun or at least not too difficult. Recent studies, meanwhile, have revealed that flossing might be one of the simplest ways to ward off tooth decay.
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